Eric Peterson’s piece “No Rehab in My Backyard” [Aug. 4, City Weekly] fails to properly explain the circumstances leading to my client Allen Andersen’s lawsuit against Salt Lake City. The piece creates the impression that Salt Lake City attorney Lynn Pace informed me before the lawsuit was filed that the city was “not enforcing” its regulations. The piece also creates the impression that Pace indicated to me that the city would “get [Andersen’s] accommodation in writing” after he provided the city “some information.”
As the piece accurately reports and the lawsuit alleges, the city shut down both Oxford Houses under the threat of criminal prosecution. We filed suit after these actual and threatened violations. Pace then contacted me and expressed that the city was changing its position relative to the Oxford Houses and enforcing its own regulations. There were no negotiations before the suit—only threats from the city. To date, the city has not offered to compensate Jodie Caffery or any of Andersen’s other disabled tenants whom it displaced.
Attorney Pace’s statement that the city offered reasonable accommodations before we sued is simply not true. His assertion that we filed in the midst of negotiations is not true, either. Rather than contacting me for clarification, City Weekly essentially provided the city a platform to mislead the public about this dispute.
Edward W. McBride Jr.
Attorney for Allen Andersen