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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Local photographer seeking damages against Lansing

  • A new court case has begun in an ongoing dispute between a local photographer and the city of Lansing regarding comments made last year during Lansing City Council meetings, court records indicate.
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    • Story at a glance ...

      • Local photographer Debra Bates-Lamborn is suing the city of Lansing for comments made last year during City Council meetings.


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      Story at a glance ...

      • Local photographer Debra Bates-Lamborn is suing the city of Lansing for comments made last year during City Council meetings.



      • Bates-Lamborn contends comments about pictures she'd taken have damaged her personally and professionally.



      • A petition was filed by Bates-Lamborn's attorney March 20 in Leavenworth County District Court.



      • No hearing date has been set.

  • A new court case has begun in an ongoing dispute between a local photographer and the city of Lansing regarding comments made last year during Lansing City Council meetings, court records indicate.
    Debra Bates-Lamborn is seeking damages against the city for comments she contends have caused damage to her personally and professionally.
    Bates-Lamborn is a weekly contributor to the Leavenworth Times.
    The issue was first raised last year with the filing of a tort document.
    A new petition was filed March 20 in Leavenworth County District Court. The document was filed by Leavenworth attorney Carol Hall on behalf of Bates-Lamborn.
    The petition argues representatives of the city "used their official status in a televised City Council meeting to make false and highly offensive statements" about Bates-Lamborn. The comments reportedly were made March 21, 2013, and April 4, 2013.
    During both meetings, council members made comments regarding official photographs of the council Bates-Lamborn took in her First City Photo and Frames studio in 2011.
    In an interview last year, Bates-Lamborn said the comments began when Lansing Mayor Billy Blackwell asked council members about their availability for new photographs.
    Bates-Lamborn claimed Blackwell apparently called the 2011 photographs “gothic,” which prompted comments from other council members. Bates-Lamborn claimed a similar comment was made during the second meeting.
    The petition filed March 20 argues actions by city officials invaded Bates-Lamborn's privacy and caused damage to her personally and professionally "by subjecting her to public ridicule."
    The document also argues that the actions and conduct of city officials interfered with Bates-Lamborn's prospective business relationships, causing her to suffer damages.
    The petition asks for a judgement against the city in an amount in excess of $25,000.
    No hearing date has been set in the case.
    When contacted Thursday, Bates-Lamborn said she wanted to consult with her attorney before commenting about the case.
    Hall could not immediately be reached Thursday.
    Lansing City Administrator Mike Smith said Thursday that he had not yet heard about the new case and did not have a comment about the issue.

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