BECKER - The mayor of Becker is suing the city and two of its council members for censuring him from speaking out on golf course operations and other personnel matters while acting as mayor.

Jerome "Lefty" Kleis filed the lawsuit against the city of Becker and council members Adam Oliver and Tracy Bertram.

Kleis' lawyer Philip Villaume says they're claiming a violation of civil rights and liberties and are seeking an immediate injunction.

He has basically filed a claim alleging that. And, he's going to be seeking what we call an injunctive relief. That's an injunction from the court lifting the censures in place and preventing them from issuing any further ones.

Kleis is claiming the council's censure is preventing him from discussing matters of public concern and negatively impacts his abilities to perform his duties as mayor.

Along with the injunction, Kleis is seeking damages of at least $50,000.

In a statement released to WJON, City Administrator Greg Pruszinske says:

The City and its representatives have not had time to review the large number of assertions and claims in the lawsuit and are not in a position to offer any substantive comments at this time. The City is confident that the actions taken and the decisions made regarding Mr. Kleis were appropriate and justified.

Pruszinske says the lawsuit was referred to the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. The league has provided a defense for the city, hiring attorney Dyan Ebert of Quinlivian and Hughes of St. Cloud.

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