Litigation targets West Linn's approval of water plant and pipeline

The Lake Oswego City Council last week voted to intervene on West Linn City Council members’ behalf as they defend themselves against a lawsuit involving the proposed expansion of Lake Oswego’s water treatment plant and pipeline, located in West Linn’s Robinwood neighborhood.

The 6-1 vote took place without discussion after an executive session at city hall. Lake Oswego City Councilor Karen Bowerman was the only person to vote against signing onto the lawsuit as an intervener.

The lawsuit, filed April 12 by a group of West Linn residents and a local business owner, alleges that West Linn council members violated public meetings laws by conducting meetings and executive sessions behind the scenes to orchestrate the approval of two conditional use permits for the controversial Lake Oswego-Tigard water treatment plant and pipeline projects. The complaint names West Linn Mayor John Kovash and Jody Carson, Mike Jones and Jenni Tan, three of the four city councilors. It does not name West Linn City Councilor Thomas Frank, who did not participate in the decision to approve the bigger water plant and pipeline.

The plaintiffs want the water treatment plant and pipeline approvals to be invalidated and are seeking coverage of their attorney fees. Their complaint also calls for the court to hold each councilor and the mayor personally liable for any costs or attorney fees awarded to the plaintiffs.

An attorney representing the West Linn council members has denied that any violation of public meetings laws took place.

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