A March 3 story in the Pacific Missourian regarding the conclusion of a lawsuit involving ownership of the city cemetery records brought a response from two of the litigants, who said the report was not complete.
The final declaratory judgment, issued by Judge Dave Hoven, said the parties would pay their own legal fees, but the litigants said there was a previous agreement among the parties and some legal fees were reimbursed.
Neil Brennan, who filed the lawsuit, and Mayor Jeff Palmore contacted The Missourian saying some attorney fees had been paid.
The city and former sexton Alan Bruns each paid Brennan $13,000.
Brennan said the reimbursement for his costs was part of the mediated agreement. He said the insurance companies for the city and sexton agreed to the reimbursement during the mitigation process.
“It was not in the court order. It was in the mediation agreement,” Brennan said. “But I already have the checks.”
Palmore said it was important that the reimbursement payment be made public. He announced during the March 6 board of aldermen meeting that the city had been required to pay the $13,000.
Under the declaratory judgment, the court ruled that the ledger books — and all cemetery records — are the property of the city.
The order also said the court would deliver the books in its possession to the city.
As part of the litigation, Bruns had delivered to the court four handwritten ledger books that he and family members who served as sexton had maintained over a period of 100 years, which contained cemetery records, but Palmore claims there are more records that are still missing.
At the March 6 meeting, Palmore again stated that the court did not have all the cemetery records and personally planned to pursue an effort to have them turned over to the city.