Chaz Stevens, who has used his blog to battle corruption in Deerfield Beach, has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Lauderdale Lakes.
"According to Lauderdale Lakes City Manager Jon Allen," Stevens tells New Times, "when it comes to obtaining public records, I need to pay to play."
Stevens' lawsuit alleges that the City of Lauderdale Lakes has gone out of its way to keep him from gaining access to public records.
"We're gonna jam this lawsuit up Allen's ass, and then break it off," Stevens says.
The 23-page lawsuit, which Stevens filed with attorney David Frankel, says that the city has yet to provide requested copies of all CRA contracts in excess of $50,000, from 2008 to 2013.
Stevens says he and Frankel have also requested invoices from Allen for three years worth of credit card statements -- a total of 36 -- and have only received two.
He says the city has been "dicking me around" for the past 18 months in regards to his public records requests.
There was also a request for Allen's job application, but the city says Stevens must pay $99.70. Meanwhile, a request for Finance Director's Marie Elianor resume and application would cost Stevens $84.60, he says.
Stevens claims he also has other lawsuits in the works, alleging that the city has recently admitted to illegally misspending millions in CRA money on the build-out of the public library.
Stevens' aim, as ever, is transparency. In 2008, he alerted prosecutors to corruption by former Deerfield Beach Mayor Al Capellini and Commissioner Steve Gonot, both of whom were eventually indicted and forced to resign.
"My lawyer and I are hoping to find a judge who believes in transparency," Stevens says of this recent lawsuit. "One who will demand the city opens up, as it should."
Stevens is expecting the lawsuit to place city staffers, former employees, and elected officials under oath.
"We've got them by the balls now," Stevens says. "Gonna squeeze a little bit and see who taps out. "
You can view a copy of the lawsuit below:
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