March 29 – Judge dismisses lawsuit related to Marshall Fire debris program
Yesterday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Demanding Integrity in Public Spending (DIGS) against Boulder County regarding the Marshall Fire recovery Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) program. Senior Judge Howard found (view ruling) that DIGS had no standing to file its claims because neither DIGS nor anyone affiliated with DIGS had a connection to Boulder County. “There is no evidence that plaintiff will suffer any consequences as a result of defendants claimed violation of [the Colorado Open Meetings Law].”
The judge vacated the hearing scheduled for March 30.
Since DIGS has no standing to file the lawsuit, the judge did not rule on the merits of the case. “Because this court has no jurisdiction, it cannot address the remaining issues raised by plaintiff’s motion,” Judge Howard wrote.
“The dismissal allows us to focus on the important next steps in helping fire survivors with recovery,” said Deputy County Attorney David Hughes.
On Feb. 28, the plaintiff, Demanding Integrity in Government Spending (DIGS), filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction on Boulder County. DIGS seeks to stop the County from contracting with the selected bidder for private property debris removal, DRC Emergency Services, LLC., claiming a lack of transparency in the contractor selection process. Boulder County is coordinating a Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) Program to assist with cleanup on individual properties related to the Marshall Fire event.
On March 9, Boulder County filed a response stating that it followed Colorado law in the procurement process. A multi jurisdictional selection team from Louisville, Superior, and Boulder County made their recommendation that the Board of County Commissioners award DRC Emergency Services, LLC. (DRC) the contract to complete the coordinated debris removal program. The Board voted to adopt that recommendation in a public meeting held on February 10. The County also complied with the law when it sought legal advice from the County Attorney in executive sessions.