A Livingston area attorney has filed suit against the city of Crossville to obtain access to public records in the wake of the city’s closure of the Village Inn and the subsequent resignation of the city manager.
John Nisbet filed the lawsuit Friday in Cumberland County Chancery Court on behalf of Steve Threet, who managed the low-income residential complex that was shuttered for less than 24 hours last summer.
At issue are records from the city’s fire, police and codes enforcement departments, as well as those produced by the law firm of Robinson, Smith and Wells, which the Council hired to conduct an independent investigation of the Village Inn’s July 27, 2022, evacuation.
The City paid $10,000 for the law firm to do the investigation.
The lawsuit asserts that Council members waived any claim of attorney-client privilege in two public August 2022 meetings in which the content of the independent investigation was discussed “and using the report publicly as the basis for reinstating the City Manager.”
Nisbet and Threet are asking for the city to appear before Chancery Court to show cause why access to the records should not be granted. They are requesting the court to grant a declaratory judgment that all Village Inn records are public with no exemption, and to immediately provide copies of those records.