Framingham, SMOC await discovery ruling Thursday, January 15, 2009
Dan McDonald 508-626-4416 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- While yesterday marked the original deadline for discovery in the federal case between town officials and the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, both sides await word from federal Judge Douglas Woodlock.

SMOC had asked the federal judge to allow its attorneys to take more depositions in its lawsuit against the town. SMOC has also requested a 90-day extension for the discovery deadline.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Woodlock had yet to make a ruling, according to online court records.

Jeff Robbins, attorney for the town, said he's proceeding with the case, until he hears otherwise, as if the discovery deadline was yesterday.

The council sued the town and numerous officials in October 2007, alleging the town violated federal housing law by blocking expansion of its programs.

Yesterday, SMOC filed a motion asking for the go-ahead to take 10 additional depositions beyond the 10 already allowed by court rule.

SMOC also requested extending the discovery deadline, set for Jan. 15, to April 15.

SMOC wants to depose selectmen Dennis Giombetti and Jason Smith, former Planning Board Chairwoman Ann Welles, current Planning Board Chairwoman Carol Spack and fellow board member Andrea Carr-Evans, Police Chief Steven Carl, Town Manager Julian Suso, former Building Commissioner Joseph Mikelian, PILOT Committee minority member Dawn Harkness, and Larry Sprawl, police officer and member of Stop Tax Exempt Private Property Sprawl.

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