Woman sues Nitro, mayor over records request

By Cara Bailey | Aug 30, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Nitro resident who has been in the center of several legal disputes has filed another suit against the mayor of Nitro, seeking information requested under West Virginia Open Records Law.

Karen Fritz filed a suit Aug. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Rusty Casto, the mayor of Nitro, and the city.

According to the suit, on Aug. 6, Fritz sought several items under the Open Records Law also known as the Freedom of Information Act. Among the items requested were:

* A chronological itemization of all salary paid to Tifney Terry for the period of time commencing the 61st day following her assumption of the office of treasurer of the City of Nitro and ending July 13, 2007;

* A chronological itemization of any and all overtime paid to Terry for the above period;

* A chronological itemization of any and all bonuses paid to Terry for the time period and;

* Any and all benefits paid to Terry for the time period.

Also, on Aug. 7, Fritz requested a copy of the minutes for the first reading of the ordinance that allowed geese to be exterminated; a copy of the minutes of the second reading; a copy of the minutes where the council votes to exterminate the geese; proof of payment to the organization that exterminated the geese.

The geese in the suit are animals killed this summer because of problems they were causing around the town. In July, the Federal Department of Agriculture killed about 100 geese around the Ridenour Lake area in Nitro.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, Casto said the geese were "trashing the lake" and the city was worried about the health of the children who play near the lake.

According to the suit, Casto has failed to comply with Fritz's requests "although given ample time to do so."

Fritz claims her interest in the information outweighs any arguments for non-disclosure, and that the information requested is public information.

Fritz, through attorney Michael T. Clifford, seeks a court hearing, ordering the records to be produced, and compensation for court costs and counsel fees.

Fritz previously has filed a suit against Terry, seeking to have her removed from office because she was not bonded in the appropriate time. Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Irene Berger agreed with the suit, and ordered Terry to be removed.

The current case has been assigned to Judge Charlie King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1770

More News

The Record Network