Ward 3 Alderperson Doug Oitzinger, a former Marinette mayor, first filed his lawsuit on November 17th, 2020, claiming the city violated the open meetings law on two occasions. The first, Oitzinger alleges was on October 6th, 2020, when the common council went into closed session to discuss “negotiations and review of an agreement with JCI/Tyco regarding bio-solid equipment,” which the council voted in open session to approve without further discussion. The second alleges that the common council, on October 7th, 2020, went into closed session to discuss “with legal counsel regarding the status of water supply alternative analysis” to receive a report from the civil engineering firm about the status of its analysis. The council discussed those alternatives and reached a consensus that the engineering study should not proceed any further until the Town of Peshtigo formally requested water from the city. Oitzinger says, “this was a last resort. I had been requesting more openness from the mayor on some of the decision-making processes that were going on, particularly in closed session.”

Oitzinger says, “to be an elected official, you are not doing your job if you’re not informing the public or advocating on the public’s behalf for things they want or might need.”

Oitzinger is requesting the following relief: Judgment against defendants declaring they violated the Open Meetings Law; Judgment voiding any actions taken by the defendants at any meeting held in violation of the Open Meetings Law; Judgment against defendants for the actual and necessary costs of prosecution, including reasonable attorney fees; and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.