In an apparent violation of the state’s open meeting laws, the Colorado Springs City Council directed the city attorney to pursue professional sanctions against a Monument clean-air advocate during an executive session, one councilman says.

The clean-air advocate, Monument attorney Leslie Weise, said in 2016 that sulfur dioxide emissions from the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant exceeded federal standards. In March 2017, the council directed City Attorney Wynetta Massey to contact regulatory agencies in California and New York, seeking to have Weise disbarred, according to court filings from an attorney hired by the city.

“Instructing an attorney to do something specific like this, to start filing a lawsuit or seeking sanctions against someone, is a decision that has to be made in a public meeting,” said Ballard Spahr First Amendment attorney Steven D. Zansberg, who has represented The Gazette in the past.

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