Government & Politics  May 1, 2024

Loveland council declines to move forward with further legal action

LOVELAND — Members of the majority on the City Council, who met Tuesday night with special attorneys Kathy Haddock and Christopher Gregory without the four minority members of the council in attendance, agreed to move on and not pursue further legal action on the open meetings violation allegations that had been raised against the four.

Haddock and Gregory, sitting at opposite ends of a trestle table before the council, were prepared to make presentations about their conflicting reports.

Haddock started, saying that Gregory’s most recent memo was “basically ad hominem attacks on my analysis” and “confuses the civil and criminal claims. … Mr. Gregory is passionate about his opinion but is upset that I don’t agree with him.” 

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Gregory’s latest memo called Haddock’s analysis of the situation “an extraordinary disservice to the city,” among other charges.

Council member Troy Krenning broke in at that point and expressed displeasure with what was happening.

“I’m not interested in squandering time with two dueling attorneys. I’m not interested in spending time with two lawyers bickering with each other. I have no questions for either of you. Lawyers at times disagree. I don’t want to litigate the varying opinions tonight.”

Mayor Jacki Marsh asked Gregory if she was correct in believing that there is no statute of limitations on the civil open meeting law violation, and Gregory said she was correct. Haddock said, however, that courts have permitted councils to remedy potentially illegal meeting actions and “although I don’t think there was a violation, the council did essentially cure (what some say was) a violation with its later meeting.

She said that the case law from Douglas County, which Gregory had cited, was not binding on Larimer County entities. 

“What happened here is not at all like what happened in Douglas County,” she said.

Council member Laura Light-Kovacs said in her perspective, “I’m accepting what Ms. Haddock determined. My suggestion is that we get our ethics review board up and running and if anyone has a concern, they can kick it to the ethics review board to consider. As a council, there’s no further action we should be taking on this matter.”

Council member Erin Black agreed. “I accept it. I’d just move on to the next agenda item.”

Krenning concluded that “we’ve learned about the lack of process and, moving forward, we will instill a process that won’t repeat the sausage making.”

No motions were offered, and acting city attorney Vince Junglas said based upon the conversation that “we will not pursue a declaratory judgment (from the court), and we’re not moving forward with the CORA request (from Gregory).” 

Mayor Marsh said, “That’s what I’m hearing.”

Members of the majority on the Loveland City Council, who met Tuesday night with special attorneys Kathy Haddock and Christopher Gregory without the four minority members of the council in attendance, agreed to move on and not pursue further legal action on the open meetings violation allegations that had been raised against the four.

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.
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