An area newspaper and Monessen resident have asked a Westmoreland County judge for an expedited hearing in a Sunshine Act suit filed against the city of Monessen and Mayor Matt Shorraw.

“It is imperative that this matter be scheduled for an expedited hearing, as the plaintiffs will suffer immediate and irreparable harm without the relief requested,” wrote their attorney, James T. Davis.

A suit filed earlier this month on behalf of the Mon Valley Independent and Tina O’Dell alleges “numerous violations” of the Sunshine Act and “of the due process clauses of the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions” by the defendants at an organizational meeting held on Jan. 6.

The suit alleged numerous actions taken during that meeting appeared on an agenda that was not distributed to the public so those in attendance could offer public comment. Among the contested actions were the terminations and new hirings of a city solicitor and city administrator; restrictions on access to city video cameras; rescinding an appointment to the Mon Valley Sewage Board and advertising to fill that vacancy.

In a petition filed Feb. 17, Davis contended some city officials “have committed further violations of the Sunshine Act, and the due process clauses of the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions, at subsequent meetings.”

This is the third suit filed in relation to the Jan. 6 meeting. City resident Ron Mozer and former Monessen Mayor Lou Mavrakis filed suits last month in Westmoreland County Court that made similar claims on Sunshine Act violations.


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