Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti has filed a motion to intervene and complaint on behalf of Marshall Together in Demanding Integrity in Govt Spending v. Boulder County in Boulder County District Court.
Attorneys Rudy Verner, Josh Marks, and Andrew Fischer represent Marshall Together, a group of Marshall Fire survivors. Marshall Together is a board-managed nonprofit corporation based in Louisville, founded and run solely by Marshall Fire survivors, with a mission to engage and empower the communities affected by the Marshall Fire to restore their lives, homes, neighborhoods, and businesses. Marshall Together provides a community and organization through which Marshall Fire survivors can crowdsource information and work together on their fire recoveries. In recognition of the immense loss that members of Marshall Together and so many others in the firm’s Boulder County community suffered and continue to suffer because of the Marshall Fire, these attorneys represent Marshall Together at no cost (pro bono).
Due to unusually warm and dry conditions through the summer and fall months of last year, Boulder County experienced ideal wildfire conditions. On December 30, a grass fire broke out, spreading rapidly due to wind gusts of up to 115 miles per hour. The fire, which became the most destructive fire in Colorado history, destroyed over one thousand homes, businesses, and other structures and left thousands of community members displaced. Since then, the Boulder County, Louisville, and Superior communities have worked with agencies, community partners, and others to recover and rebuild.
As part of the recovery effort, Boulder County recently awarded a large debris removal contract to DRC Emergency Services, LLC, a disaster recovery company, clearing the way for community members to rebuild their homes and businesses.
On February 28, a new group called Demanding Integrity in Government Spending (“DIGS”) and led by President George W. Bush’s FEMA Administrator during Hurricane Katrina, Michael Brown, filed a complaint as well as a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in Boulder County District Court. The complaint and motion asked the Court to order a halt to work under the debris removal contract and to declare Boulder County’s award of the contract invalid based on alleged violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law in the award process.
On March 9, Boulder County responded, arguing that it did, in fact, follow Colorado law in the award process.
On March 17, Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti filed the motion to intervene and complaint on behalf of Marshall Together, emphasizing that DIGS and Brown’s interference with Boulder County’s debris removal contract stands to delay the massive cleanup effort that must be completed before Marshall Fire survivors can begin the process of rebuilding their homes, communities, and lives. The motion and complaint argue that the current delay in commencement of work under the debris removal contract, apparently caused by the DIGS and Brown lawsuit, carries with it significant negative impacts on the physical, mental, and financial health of Marshall Fire survivors. These impacts include, for example, the potential for additional living expense coverage under insurance policies to expire before the completion of rebuilding efforts, continuing increases in the price of building materials and labor, making rebuilding more expensive with each passing day, continuing exposure to toxic ash, traumatic impacts on children, and general emotional hardship for survivors who want to return to their communities.
Marshall Together is awaiting a response from the Court.