Aurora man sues city over city council decision to overturn pit bull ban
AURORA | An Aurora man kept his promise to sue the town he calls home last week following the recent Aurora city council decision to overturn a long-standing ban on pit ownership -bull.
Matt Snider filed a civil action against the town of Aurora in Arapahoe County District Court on Thursday, nearly six months after writing a letter to city officials asking them to overturn their repeal of a law law prohibiting residents from keeping American, American pit bull terriers. Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers as pets.
Council members in January voted 7-3 to overturn the ban, which was first added to the city code by ordinance in 2005.
Snider, a Democrat who ran for a seat at state seat in 2016 and a post on the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education a year later, has repeatedly said the lawsuit didn’t was not related to the substance of the repeal of the ban on dogs. He said he disagreed with city lawmakers unilaterally overturning a local rule that Aurora voters confirmed through a vote in 2014.
Almost two-thirds of local voters chose to support the ban at the polls seven years ago.
“I want to stress that my trial has nothing to do with dogs per se, pit bulls or whatever. I love dogs, ”Snider, a legal investigator for a law firm in Lakewood, wrote in an email. “But it has absolutely everything to do with the city council ignoring the law in the city’s charter and its own procedures to overturn the overwhelming results of a direct vote by Aurora residents on the pit bull issue.” . I would be equally upset if city council did this on another issue.
Former Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler represents Snider in court, according to records. The Greenwood Village-based electoral attorney has been a leading figure in Republican politics for nearly two decades.
In his 17-page complaint, Gessler asked an Arapahoe County judge to overturn the recent city council order overturning the dog ban and revert to the original code passed 16 years ago.
In 2009, an appeals court upheld the city’s dog breed ban after the American Canine Foundation challenged it, saying officials “had a legitimate aim in enacting a breed ban order. of dog and of restricted breed, ”according to city documents.
The Council changed the original 2005 language six years after its adoption to allow more races that were originally banned in the city. Pit bulls remained banned.
Snider said allowing council members to unilaterally chop codes that were previously confirmed by the electorate could lead to more aggressive podium action in the future.
“I am very surprised that a greater stench has not been made about this,” Snider said of the recent city council decision. “… The votes of the people are sacrosanct to me, whatever the problem. Maybe I’m too idealistic or too scout, but if the city council can get away with it, then it will understand that it can do so with impunity on any other issue, perhaps even canceling the elections for the mayor or members of city council. “
In his letter sent to city lawyers earlier this year, Snider asked to negotiate with officials to overturn the ban before it officially takes effect in late February, threatening legal action if his request is denied.
“Negotiations did not take place,” said Snider The Sentinel Last week. “The city council and the city attorney ignored me.
A city spokesperson declined to comment on the case on Friday afternoon, saying city lawyers have yet to be officially served on the complaint.