Government & Politics  May 28, 2024

Attorney seeks district court review of municipal judge’s decision

LOVELAND and GREELEY — The attorney in two cases filed against the Loveland City Council has submitted pleadings to the Weld County District Court in an attempt to force Greeley Municipal Court to hear the cases.

It’s an appeal of sorts of Municipal Court Judge Mark Gonzales’ decision that he did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the cases.

The cases involve alleged violations of the Loveland city charter, along with alleged constitutional-law violations. In one, eight plaintiffs including five former city council members said that the City Council violated the charter Nov. 21, 2023, by not calling for a public vote on its rescission (later reversed) of an agreement with McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. over the Centerra South approvals last year.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Business Cares: June 2024

BizWest Business Cares June 2024 recognizes LGBTQ+ businesses and the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.

In the other case, a Ward 1 resident claimed unequal treatment under the law because the city failed to conduct a background investigation of the winning candidate in Ward 1, Troy Krenning, and then after he was elected, applied a background test that was different from all other candidates prior to seating him.

The cases were filed in Loveland Municipal Court, where judges said conflicts of interest rendered them unable to hear the cases. An intergovernmental agreement with the city of Greeley moved the cases to municipal court there. Greeley judge Gonzales determined on April 26 that he did not have jurisdiction to hear the case because of its subject matter.

The request of the district court, according to the filing May 23, is not to determine the merits of the cases but to determine whether the municipal court erred in not conducting a trial. It asks that the cases be remanded to municipal court for trial.

The Loveland City Council has engaged outside counsel to handle the cases. Russell Sinnett is the plaintiffs’ attorney.

The original cases are Richard Ball, et al, vs. city of Loveland, case number 24cv001 in Loveland and SP24-001 in Greeley; and Peter Gazlay vs. city of Loveland, case number 24cv002 in Loveland and SP24-002 in Greeley.

The filing in Weld County District Court is 2024cv30463.

The attorney in two cases filed against the Loveland City Council has submitted pleadings to the Weld County District Court in an attempt to force Greeley Municipal Court to hear the cases.

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.
Sign up for BizWest Daily Alerts