Sheffield Council has until July 1 to make decision on smoking ordinance

Sheffield Attorney Bennett L. Pugh and the City Council

The Sheffield City Council has an extension to settle the claim made against them by a local businessman.

The council held a special called meeting on Wednesday, two days after their regular meeting. The meeting’s purpose was to vote on whether to accept or deny businessman Joe Mitchum’s claim. However, the vote was delayed until the next regular meeting on July 1, because Councilwoman Malea Scales was not present. Mitchum’s attorney Bennett L. Pugh agreed to delay the vote, because they want the full council to be present.

The original deadline according to Pugh at Monday’s meeting was 15 days from when the claim was originally filed. The claim was filed on June 7. It was expected that June 22 was the deadline. However, it was expected for the lawsuit to be filed the following Monday since the deadline was on a weekend.

The claim states that Mitchum was deceitfully advised by two council members that the city’s smoking ordinance would not prohibit him from opening his cigar lounge business. However, the ordinance did because it doesn’t allow smoking in any business or 20 feet of a business’s entrance.

According to Pugh, the council can either pay $50,000 in damages, repeal the ordinance or replace it with another ordinance that is less restrictive.

Pugh’s office is located in Downtown Sheffield in the building with Zoey Belle’s, a dress shop owned by Laquita Logan.

By Eric Marchan – Staff Writer

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