A coalition of Montgomery County residents today filed a lawsuit against Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Department of General Services alleging that the county is in violation of the Maryland Public Information Act.
The West Montgomery County Citizens' Association, the Civic Association of River Falls (CARF) and the Brickyard Coalition claim that Montgomery County has not adequately responded to a public information request filed Nov. 9, 2011. The request asked for county documents and correspondence pertaining to the county's handling of the Brickyard Road Middle School site in Potomac.
Maryland law requires a response within 30 days.
"That time frame came and went, nothing happened," said Ted Duncan, resident of River Falls and member of the CARF. "We're unfortunately left at the point now that our only choice is to go to the courts."
According to Duncan, the civic associations are not looking for monetary relief in this suit.
"It's very frustrating that the county has closed up on [the Brickyard Road issue] entirely," he said. "We are simply after the information. We know there is information out there because we've had bits and pieces. When we get that additional information we'll decide our best course of action."
According to county spokesman Patrick Lacefield, the county has complied with the request.
"We have bent over backwards to fully comply with the [Maryland Public Information Act] request," Lacefield said.
The Brickyard Coalition filed legal notices with the Maryland State Treasurer earlier this month for possible monetary claims against the Montgomery County Board of Education. The claims allege violations of citizens' rights in the controversy surrounding Brickyard Road. The coalition is also currently involved in a case in front of the Maryland State Board of Education, which will decide if the Montgomery County BOE acted appropriately when granting ownership of the lease to Montgomery County.