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CH2M Hill’s Motion for Dismissal Granted in Court Case

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In the case of Community Press vs. CH2M Hill, Judge Bates gave her opinion today granting CH2M Hill's Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing the case.  You can read the Judge Bates' opinion in its entirety HERE.

13 Comments

  1. Tim Lazaroe

    July 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    What’s next? We all know that Woody isn’t going to let it go.

  2. Bill Doughty

    July 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    We are pleased that the court saw the merits of our position regarding the question of public records versus private company records. We highly value our partnership with the City of Central and take our responsibility as custodian of the city’s records very seriously. It has always been our policy to respond to every request for public records and to release all public information in accordance with our contract and all applicable laws.

    Bill Doughty, APR
    Communications Director
    CH2M HILL

  3. mike mannino

    July 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Bill,
    You are sorely mistaken if you think this is over. Just round 1. You have made a serious error in your judgement if you think this is some backwoods town that will roll over for you. I can tell you, if I ever get in office, I will make it my mission to get Ch2 out of here not because I dont believe contracting is the way to go but because of the way this company has handled this case. IF the citizens have no right to know what you are doing participating a political campaign, which by the way violates your companies ethics policies, we dont need you.

  4. Morgan

    July 22, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Can’t say I told you so. Oh wait, I kinda did.

    This is a private company, that placed a private advertisement in a private newspaper, without explicitly endorsing anything other than themselves. Seems legal, logical, and not in any way unethical.

    Also, it turns out that they don’t need to get the specific approval of the city to use its name. Personally, I don’t particularly care about this, since I don’t think it’s a good idea to be draconian with your city’s “intellectual property” anyway, considering that your city’s name is also a commonly used adjective. We should only be so lucky that our city isn’t named “Green”.

    In any case, this is a manufactured controversy, or at least a fully avoidable one. Central City News asked C2H for records C2H didn’t have to reveal, and eventually there was litigation to make certain that C2H didn’t have to reveal that the party responsible for putting C2H’s advertisement in the paper was…. themselves. This could easily have been avoided if C2H simply stated: “Um, we don’t need permission from Central City to place an ad in a newspaper for Baton Rouge. We are on good terms with the people who are currently running the place, since we work there… but we’re not putting names in here, cause we’re willing to work with whoever.”
    But they didn’t say that, and instead opted to have their legal rights protected.

  5. Mike Mannino

    July 22, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Morgannnnnnnnnnn,
    Wake up. You are having a dream and its a nightmare for Central. Fortuantly, you will awaken and reality will prevail. This I promise you.

  6. Morgan

    July 23, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I share your concern about a competition-less construction management/financing company being active in the town. I really do. However, I don’t think the things they’ve been called out on are atypical or beyond the bounds of decency.

    I tell you what, though. I will totally change my mind on them if they start financing a Robo-Cop (or II).

  7. resident

    July 23, 2010 at 7:02 am

    OK, my opinion, no matter what the court has decided, CH2 has violated their contract with the city. They signed an agreement to abide by the Public Records Law in the state of Louisiana. They HAVE NOT!!! Time to get rid of them and save some of my tax dollars.

  8. Chris

    July 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Just curious did anyone read the ad in The Advocate that this case is based on, and change their mind as how they would vote in the election.

  9. Scott Shelton

    July 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Chris,

    This case wasn’t about the outcome of the election. It’s about a contract that was violated.

  10. Nathan

    July 23, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I posted this on July 17 and I hate to say Mike “I told you so.”

    I am really not sure how this is going to turn out but I fell that Woody is going to get his feelings hurt. I think this whole issue needs to be addressed from a different angle. First of all CH2 was hired by Central to provide a service to the community. Just like you would hire a painter to paint the school or a plumber to fix the toilets in city hall. Just because these professionals provide a service to the city doesn’t mean that we can request to see there profit margins. The only leg that we have to stand on in this issue is the CONTRACT. If within that contract it states that we are allowed access to this knowledge then so be it. Woody needs to approach one of the council to find out if the public has the right to to view this information. Then that council members needs to consult with the city attorney to make sure that the contract language states this access. Right now the judge is looking at the contract and the law and analyzing conflicting language between the two. Which I can assure you that CH2 contract specifically states that they don’t provide access to these records. If it did state this then the records would have been turned over already. The real mistake was made when someone decided to run and ad that showed partiality towards the mayor. The more intelligent thing to do would have been to make campaign contributions to both candidates and leave it at that. So when the winner was declared CH2 could say I supported both of you. This form of lobbying is done every day in politics. Exxon gives a considerable amount of money to both candidates even though we all know that big oil flies on the right wing. Keep in mind everyone CH2 is billion dollar company that appears to be extremely profitable. I can assure you that they don’t just have one lawyer but a team of lawyers looking at this. Right now they are looking at future contracts with Central and what they can do to continue to protect there bottom line. Whatever happens with this situation I hope that there can be a peaceful resolve. I sure hope Woody is leading with good intentions on moving forward with this legal crusade and not just trying to increase the circulation of his paper. Remember we voted for the council that approved this companies contract and if we are unhappy with the service then it doesn’t need to be renewed. PERIOD!!!!

  11. Nathan

    July 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Mike be careful with your radical opinions on everything. Remember there are always more people that read this information that don’t leave comments. I feel like as Americans we always get warped up in corporate media’s perception on things. We never sit down and try to see both sides of the equation. The only side we have seen from this whole issue is Woody’s opinion alone and not the facts. The fact is CH2 screwed by buying the ad and they admitted to it when Tommy got sent home.

    People please stop and look at all the publicity this thing has gotten and where did it get us “NOTHING”. Valuable time and resources were committed to this legal crusade only to find out what some of us already knew. If this lawsuit had real merit it would have never been tossed out. Please everyone if we are so unhappy with this service beg your council men not to renew the contract when it comes up for renewal and lets lay this dog to rest. I hope in the future Central can move forward in a positive direction and learn from the mistakes that have been made. Lets look at real issues that need to be fixed in this town such as infrastructure, economic development, tax base etc. Remember we are building a foundation for a wonderful community so residents can enjoy it for years to come.

  12. Mike Mannino

    July 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Good points Nathan but the contract does state that there records dealing with the city are public records. This was not about accessing their financial records.

    Another thing we can agree on is CH2 to be sent packing. If I ever get in office, they will be out of here not because of their performance in providing services, but because of the way they handled this.

    I can assure you Woody is doing this on principal not a motive of making money. What this has cost him could not be recovered in a reasonable enough time frame to make it worthwhile.

  13. Donna Dufour

    July 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    From: http://www.businessreport.com/news/2008/mar/25/so-far-so-good-gvpt1/

    “We still control what they do,” Central Mayor Shelton “Mac” Watts says. “They work for us.”

    Morris says all documents produced by CH2M in its work with Central will be considered public record, although the company’s corporate information obviously won’t be.

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