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A local property owner filed a second lawsuit against a city of Hillsdale official on Nov. 2 fol­lowing the alleged with­holding of infor­mation he requested through the Freedom of Infor­mation Act.

The lawsuit, filed by Lance Lashaway in the 1st Judicial Circuit Court, named Hillsdale’s City Manager and FOIA Coor­di­nator David Mackie as a defendant. It alleges that on Sept. 29, Lashaway, the owner of Ultimate Holdings LLC, sent a FOIA request to the city of Hillsdale. This request sought the official records per­taining to his prior lawsuit. 

Under FOIA, public bodies have the duty of releasing requested public records within a certain amount of time of the initial request, if they are not doc­u­ments the body is allowed to withhold. 

Lashaway said he received no response to his request.

“I fol­lowed the law by requesting infor­mation through the FOIA process. Dave Mackie is breaking the law with­holding it from me,” Lashaway said.

The first lawsuit, filed on Oct. 7, brought five dif­ferent charges against Mackie, County Building Inspector Ray Taylor, and City Zoning Admin­is­trator Alan Beeker. The suit alleges that the city and county sent Lashaway a pho­to­copied notice of safety code vio­la­tions at his building, located at 2 N. Howell St. in downtown Hillsdale. The notice was reportedly “filled out improperly” and cut off so that the sig­nature of the issuer was missing.

In his FOIA request, Lashaway asked for a copy of the ticket in its entirety. More specif­i­cally, he requested a copy that included the sig­nature of the official autho­rized to sign such citations. 

According to the lawsuit, Lashaway received no response to his request.

“Mr. Lashaway has made extensive efforts over the past weeks to resolve this dispute without recourse to lit­i­gation,” the lawsuit reads. “Defendant’s denial of Mr. Lashaway’s request to a citation issued to him with no expla­nation or bother to respond is arbi­trary and capricious.”

The lawsuit also alleges that, as Lashaway’s efforts con­tinue to be unsuc­cessful, the need for the infor­mation con­tinues to increase or Lashaway’s business and livelihood will be “irreparably injured.”

Lashaway con­tinues to allege that the city of Hillsdale is tar­geting him. His building has drawn attention from the com­munity, business owners, and city coun­cilmen since being rented to Hope House, a res­i­dential treatment center for men who struggle with sub­stance abuse.

“The fact I am bla­tantly being tar­geted by city and county gov­ernment because they don’t want the Hope House in Hillsdale and nothing is being done about it by our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives is unbe­lievable,” Lashaway said.

Mackie could not be reached for comment, but an Oct. 27 press release from the city said it was the city’s position that all of Lashaway’s alle­ga­tions are “inac­curate.”