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Michael Brown, Former FEMA Director, Drops Request That Court Halt Marshall Fire Cleanup Contract

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - The former director of FEMA behind a lawsuit over cleanup at the Marshall Fire is pulling back on asking a court to order re-bidding of the contract to clear burned properties. Michael Brown and his organization, Demanding Integrity in Government Spending, DIGS, announced they were dropping that portion of their filing on Wednesday evening.

(credit: CBS)

The suit claims an Open Meetings Law violation as well as a claim about the bid committee being a public body because it included members from the county, Louisville and Superior. The county replied to the suit saying were proper, the grouping of government leaders was of a common type put together many times in the past, and Brown has no standing to file suit, because he has not been harmed.

The suit still faces a hearing on Friday in Boulder County.

While Brown will no longer ask for the contract to be re-done he will ask the judge for permission to depose the government representatives who were on the committee that chose DRC Emergency Services. That includes representatives from the county, Louisville and Superior.

Many residents protested the lawsuit saying it will only hold them back from moving forward in rebuilding.

The county had feared that if a judge were to issue an injunction as the lawsuit sought, it would mean further delays in the initiating of the site clearing necessary before rebuilding can start.

Now finalizing of the contract will proceed the county says. Louisville and Boulder County still have to sign an intergovernmental agreement to approve the contract together with Superior, the three communities where there were fire loses. Superior has already signed. Louisville is expected to sign off at a council meeting Monday and Boulder County Tuesday.

The county says it hopes to have the deal finalized by the March 22 and has hoped to get the clearing work started by the end of the month.

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