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City Approves Christian Settlement in FOIA Dispute

City Approves Christian Settlement in FOIA Dispute

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

At least one court case against the city could be closed pending the approval of a judge.  Springfield aldermen agreed to settle the city’s case with Calvin Christian III $103,000. The settlement absolves the city of any wrongdoing.

However, Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin introduced an amendment officially admonishing Mayor Mike Houston.

“The city council admonishes Mayor Mike Houston for failure to exercise appropriate command and control over city officials who amended a collective bargaining agreement without city council approval and destroyed internal police files in violation of state civil laws,” McMenamin’s amendment read.

That amendment failed but is a part of the official record.

Christian has been known, under the purview of news organization Pure News USA, to file numerous Freedom of Information Act requests asking for police documents. It started, he said, as an effort to learn more about the workings of the city police department’s street crimes unit.

A scandal was born when some documents he requested, relating to now Deputy Police Chief Cliff Buscher, were destroyed while the FOIA review was still pending. Then police chief Robert WIlliams and corporation counsel Mark Cullen stepped down as a result,

The city is still battling a federal civil rights suit filed by Christian, alleging mistreatment by Springfield police officers.

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