Pharos-Tribune

Pyrolyzer project

June 10, 2013

Logansport aims for state high court in plant suit

LOGANSPORT — Attorneys representing Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin and City Council in a lawsuit questioning the validity of an ordinance authorizing the city to engage in negotiations with a power plant developer have filed a motion with the Indiana Supreme Court in hopes it will be addressed quicker than where it currently awaits in the state court of appeals.

In March, Logansport attorney Jim Brugh filed the suit on behalf of his client Julie Kitchell, a Logansport resident. The suit claims 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 the city responded by citing a provision in Indiana Code allowing for the ratification of previous actions. Cass County Superior Court II dismissed the case in April.

Brugh has since filed an appeal in the Indiana Court of Appeals, but attorneys representing the city have countered with a filing in the state supreme court.

“The argument there is essentially we need to have a resolution sooner rather than later,” said Mark Crandley, the attorney representing Franklin in the case. “The fastest way to do that is go to the court of the last resort. We’re looking to take it there to get a resolution completely, finally and forever.”

John Molitor, the attorney representing city council, said time is especially of the essence because of negotiations currently being conducted between the city and Pyrolyzer.

“So far, going forward, people on both sides feel the courts will rule in our favor,” Molitor said. “At least at this point, we don’t think the negotiations will be put on hold.”

However, the ordinance authorizing the city to engage in negotiations with Pyrolyzer states city council must approve all agreements by the end of this year.

“If the courts haven’t ruled by that time, there might be people who feel like they can’t wait any longer or the deadline may have to be extended,” Molitor said.

In an interview, Brugh referred to the Rules of Appellate Procedure for the state of Indiana, citing specifically the portion that states, “In rare cases, the Supreme Court may, upon verified motion of a party, accept jurisdiction over an appeal that would otherwise be within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals upon a showing that the appeal involves a substantial question of law of great public importance and that an emergency exists requiring a speedy determination.”

Brugh said he didn’t feel the city’s filing with the supreme court meets this criteria.

“I’m sticking to the rules, but the other side is making this into a public relations game,” he said.

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Pyrolyzer project
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