Trial set in lawsuit against Lake Elmo

A trial date has been set in a lawsuit filed by former Lake Elmo city administrator Dean Zuleger against the city of Lake Elmo. Both parties will appear in court at 9 a.m. Oct. 9.

Zuleger filed the civil lawsuit July 29, 2016 in Washington County Court against the city of Lake Elmo and former city council member Steve DeLapp. The suit alleges defamation and violations of his privacy rights under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. On March 2, the case against DeLapp was dismissed and the lawsuit is continuing with the city of Lake Elmo as the sole defendant.

Zuleger, who was employed by the city from January 2012 to July 2015, alleges in the civil complaint that his tenure with the city of Lake Elmo was complicated by significant dysfunction within the city and cites numerous news articles describing dysfunction, conflict and hostility within city hall and from elected officials.

Zuleger’s attorney, David Asp, outlines several events related to Zuleger’s departure from Lake Elmo in July 2015 that allegedly damaged Zuleger’s ability to find new employment in municipal government administration. Asp states in the civil complaint that Zuleger has incurred a significant loss of income and opportunity and has experienced emotional distress that has required medical and psychological treatment.

The civil suit alleges violations of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. In the lawsuit, Asp asks Judge B. William Ekstrum for a trial by jury and seeks actual and statutory damages, as well as costs and attorney’s fees. If the city of Lake Elmo is found to have violated the Minnesota Data Practices Act, the liability for exemplary damages is no less that $1,000 and no more than $15,000 per violation.

Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]