Lawsuit challenging Orono referendum is dismissed

  • Updated: March 6, 2008 - 11:43 PM

The suit was filed by seven Orono School District residents who claimed the district's $39 million bond referendum was not conducted properly.

A Hennepin County District Court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by seven Orono School District residents who claimed the district's $39 million bond referendum was not conducted properly.

The suit contended that the west-metro district's Feb. 12 vote violated a state law that requires any referendum not held during general elections in November be carried out by mail, unless a district is in statutory operating debt.

Judge Tony Leung ruled that the lawyer for the plaintiffs did not meet state requirements in serving the lawsuit.

The district had argued that the lawsuit was based on procedures required for general operating referendums, Superintendent Karen Orcutt said, while "this was clearly a bond referendum."

Voters approved $39 million in improvements to three of the district's four buildings by a vote of 1,845 to 1,713.

The Minnesota Department of Education had deemed Orono's referendum "educationally and economically advisable" in January as part of a standard review process required before the vote.

PATRICE RELERFORD

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