by John Earp
At last Monday night’s meeting of the Jal City Council, the council unanimously approved a resolution agreeing to a settlement with Desert Town Investments (doing business as The Jal Record) concerning the newspaper’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) lawsuit against the City, which has been ongoing since 2016. In the settlement, the City of Jal will pay the Jal Record a total of $407,471.25, to settle The Jal Record’s claims for reimbursement of legal expenses and statutory fines provided for violations of IPRA. The passage of this resolution by the City Council brings to a hopeful close an unfortunate chapter in the history of the City, in which The Jal Record felt compelled to sue the City for withholding public records which by law are supposed to be accessible by the public under the State’s “Sunshine Laws.” In coming editions, The Jal Record intends to publish a detailed account of the facts and the developments in this particular case. The settlement includes a non-disparagement clause, to which both parties are bound, but which in no way prevents The Jal Record from reporting on the facts of the case.