Gothard Files in Federal Court Against Town of Wausau and Wausau Fire Chief
February 12th, 2018 | last Update: 2 days ago
by: Nan Thompson
The on going feud between former Commissioner Lynn Gothard and Fire Chief Sam Rudd takes another step.
A filing with the U.S. District Court was filed on December 12, 2017, and served to the Town of Wausau and Fire Chief Sam Rudd January 18, 2018.
Lynn Gothard in November 2016 during a Town Hall Meeting, told the Town Council she would sue the town of Wausau and Fire Chief Sam Rudd, if her requests weren't met. Gothard requested that Sam Rudd be suspended from the Fire Department for two years and made to give a public apology for his actions against her. The city at that time did not take action, so she has made good on her threat to sue.
Although no actual dollar amounts are listed on the formal complaint, it does say “in excess of $75,000.00, exclusive of costs and interest.” She is asking for compensatory and punitive damages from the City and Sam Rudd as well as Attorney fee, statutory fees and court costs.
This lawsuit all stems from a political ad not being placed in the Possum Day program distributed during Possum Day in August 2016. Gothard claims that her ad was the only ad not placed in the program and that her First and Fourteenth Amendment right were violated. The complain reads that other ads were allowed after the cut off time, but hers was not, and her check for the required amount was returned.
In all complaints, Gothard alleges that Rudd used his official influence resulting in her defeat in the Republican Primary for reelection as Commissioner seat 5 for Washington County.
Gothard has also filed other complaints with the State on this same issue; Ethics Commission and Florida Elections Commission and both were ruled unfounded.
According to Wausau Attorney, Jeff Carter, the case has been turned over to the Florida League of Cities.
Below are articles related to the above.
Article from September 2016
Article from October 2016
Article from November 2016