Trash Lawsuit claims City of Fresno illegally used funds

FRESNO, Calif.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday says the city illegally used fees from garbage collection to pay consultants. Attorney Barry Bennet said state law and the City Charter prohibit the use of those fees for anything other than public services. He wants the privatization deal scrapped.

"What we're asking the court to do is to nullify the expenses and also nullify any agreements that result from the unlawful expenditure of these funds," said Barry Bennett.

City Attorney James Sanchez has not seen the suit but told Action News he believes the city's use of those funds was within the law.

The suit was filed on behalf of three business and four city employees who work in the Solid Waste Division. The privatization of solid waste is a key part of the mayors effort to balance the city budget.

The Fresno City Council is expected to vote on the privatization matter on Thursday.

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