Local News

May 20, 2013

Appeal filed in dismissed suit against city

City will continue to pursue reimbursement for fees.

The plaintiff in a dismissed lawsuit against the Logansport mayor and city council claiming an abuse of power regarding the city’s power plant project has filed for an appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Logansport citizen Julie Kitchell, represented by local attorney Jim Brugh, filed the suit in March claiming the city engaged in the process of developing a public-private agreement with Pyrolyzer LLC to develop a new power plant before adopting an ordinance authorizing it to do so.

Lawyers representing Franklin and city council responded to the suit by citing a provision in Indiana Code allowing for the ratification of previous actions. This provision was among Cass County Superior Court II Judge Rick Maughmer’s reasons for dismissing the case, according to court records.

“The appeal is moving forward because the issue in this case isn’t about monetary damages, it’s about the process that moved forward, and continues to move forward, without considering all options available to ratepayers,” Kitchell said in an email.

She feels the possibility of developing a plant fueled by natural gas and having the city join the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, a wholesale electricity provider, have not been properly explored.

“The legal remedy at stake here for LMU customers is to reject a process that has come up with only one alternative that has never been operated by the company involved successfully in the United States.”

Pyrolyzer, which uses a process called pyrolysis to heat feedstock into a gas that will power turbine engines to create electricity, has seen its design come to fruition in two cases in Germany, both much smaller than the plant being proposed for Logansport. The company is also currently developing plants in Georgia, Utah and the Bahamas, all much smaller than the plant being proposed for Logansport as well.

“The remedy is to pursue all options and to let them be heard  by the Logansport Utility Service Board, the Logansport City Council and most importantly, the public,” Kitchell continued.

Mark Crandley, an attorney with Indianapolis-based Barnes & Thornburg LLP representing Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin in the suit, said he will vigorously defend against the appeal.

“The judge’s order was very clear,” Crandley said of the case’s dismissal. “The legal issues were so clear, we sought our attorney fees... We will continue to seek attorney fees for what we think is litigation that has no basis, including the appeal.”

The city’s attorney fees for the suit currently stand at more than $24,000, according to the lawyers’ invoices.

John Molitor, an attorney out of Indianapolis defending city council in the suit, said further costs to the city could end up being two to three times the current amount.

Crandley and Molitor are seeking reimbursement of their fees from Kitchell, arguing her case is frivolous and was brought in bad faith. A hearing had been scheduled in Cass County Superior Court II to discuss the reimbursement of fees, but has been postponed in light of the recent appeal filing.

“I don’t think the arguments we would make to the appeals court would be any different than the ones we made to the trial court,” Molitor said. “The case was originally brought just as a way to harass and embarrass the administration and to try to delay the power plant project and really has no merit to it in terms of the legality of it all.”

Mayor Ted Franklin said he will continue to pursue the reimbursement of the city’s attorney fees from Kitchell.

“I’m confident we’ll win this appeal,” Franklin said. “There’s a very good possibility the appellate court will dismiss this case as well. We won the first case in front of the first judge and we’ll win the second case in front of the second judge. This case was brought against us and we have in good faith done everything we’re supposed to do and we’re going to do everything we have to do to collect our fees.

“This is nothing more than a personal vendetta and it’s going to be very costly to either the citizens of Logansport or the plaintiff in this suit.”

Kitchell’s attorney, Jim Brugh, declined to comment other than to confirm that he had filed the appeal.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

     View Results