Architect Bob Luke files protective order with Meridian to block records request

Bob Luke

The public records requests span three mayoral terms, includes at least 15 city employees, several private citizens and possibly hundreds of pages of emails and text messages within the City of Meridian since 2009.

The man filing the majority of those requests, Mitchel Marshall, told the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors Monday that these "touch on the importance of transparency in government and fulfillment of public records requests."

But a complaint for a protective order, filed in the Lauderdale County Chancery Court, characterizes Marshall, an architect, as a "disgruntled ex-employee" circumventing a court order to access records from competitor LPK Architects and Bob Luke, the principal architect.

LPK and Luke filed a complaint for protective order on May 23, just six days after Marshall's request for records with Lauderdale County for communication between Luke, County Administrator Chris Lafferty and all five supervisors.  

"Mr. Marshall is abusing the process by commencing a fishing expedition in an attempt to obtain information pertaining to (LPK/ Luke) which serves no legitimate purpose," the protective order said.

Luke's court filing includes a court order for Marshall from July 2018 to "not have any contact and/or communication with Bob Luke, his business and/or his family by any means including personal, electronic, cell phone, facsimile, social media, telephone, text messages and/or email nor shall he procure same through third parties."

The filing emphasizes third parties and also states concerns about Marshall posting released information on social media and asked the court to "issue a protective order directing (the City of Meridian) to withhold the requested information/ documents requested by Mr. Marshall in his numerous Requests For Information."

Marshall appealed to supervisors Monday, warning that "a microscope is coming to the area."

"Please work with me," Marshall asked supervisors.

The city met in executive session on Tuesday to discuss Luke's filing but no action was taken. 

Both Marshall and Luke declined to comment on the filing.

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