SMOC lawsuit hearing set for tomorrow Thursday, February 5, 2009
Dan McDonald 508-626-4416 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Attorneys representing town officials and the South Middlesex Opportunity Council will argue pending motions before federal judge Douglas Woodlock tomorrow as the divisive lawsuit rolls on.

The status conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, on the Boston waterfront.

Since Oct. 2007, the suit has pitted the town against the nonprofit agency. SMOC allege elected officials moved to block the expansion of its social service programs and violated federal law in doing so.

Critics of the nonprofit say it is a self-aggrandizing agency that wants to skirt bylaws and has disregarded free speech rights.

Among the pending motions are SMOC's request for a 90-day extension to the discovery deadline. The deadline passed Jan. 15.

SMOC filed a motion in federal court requesting to conduct 10 additional depositions in addition to the 10 allowed by court rule.

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 police officer and member of the organization known as the Stop Tax Exempt Private Property Sprawl - otherwise known as STEPPS Larry Hendry.

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