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City Council responds to lawsuit filed against businessman

Four members ask staff to research ADA complaints filed by attorney
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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After several local businesses talked about lawsuits they have been in or letters they have received from Carmichael attorney Scott Johnson about Americans with Disabilities Act non-compliance, the City Council took the matter into their own hands Monday night. Each council member except for Councilwoman Bridget Powers directed city staff to find out how many businesses have been impacted by Johnson. Councilman Keith Nesbitt said he encourages business owners who receive an offer of settlement in turn for payment from Johnson to contact the California Bar Association. “The tactic I believe is paramount to extortion,” Nesbitt said. City Manager Bob Richardson said next he plans to contact the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and Auburn business associations to find out all businesses that have been contacted by Johnson. Richardson said he will then submit a report to the council. “Typically what I do in those situations is I write them a report, and if one of them wants to take action they ask me to put it on the agenda,” Richardson said. If this does happen, the item would mostly likely be on an August agenda, Richardson said. Pete Aroz Sr., who is currently in a lawsuit with Johnson and has filed a counter lawsuit against him, said Tuesday he disagreed with Johnson’s claim in the June 26 edition of the Journal when he said he had given Aroz plenty of time to fix the ADA issues in the restroom of Pistol Pete’s Brew and Cue. “Nothing was ever said about the bathroom,” Aroz said. “I’m really upset about the way he responded to this. He was really protecting himself.” Aroz said he was aware the City Council was going to discuss the issue. He added that an “influx” of people have responded to him, concerned about his lawsuit with Johnson. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com