May 10, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

City Agrees to Injunction Regarding E-Verify Suit

The City of Springfield has agreed to a preliminary injunction in a joint lawsuit filed by plaintiffs Positronic Industries, Inc., Oke-Thomas & Associates, Inc., Stenger Management, LLC and Joe Robles, May 9, 2012 in U.S. District Court for the Western Division. The suit challenges the City's proposed enforcement of the E-Verify ordinance passed by voters on Feb. 7, 2012.

The preliminary injunction will effectively put a stay on any enforcement, which was slated to begin June 4. The injunction stays in place until a court decision.

City Manager Greg Burris says the City will also put a hold on hiring an E-verify coordinator.

"We have known all along there are portions of the ordinance that are both un-enforceble and illegal," he said. "We will let the court decide what to do at this point."

City Attorney Dan Wichmer says he will defend the ordinance within the City's responsibility under the law, but acknowledges that parts of the ordinance are illegal. He says agreeing to forgo a temporary restraining order to go straight to a preliminary injunction will save both time and money and to allow City staff to determine if there are any other issues with the voter-approved ordinance.

For more information, contact Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or Dan Wichmer at 417-864-1009.

city of springfield

Department of City Attorney

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1645 • Fax: 417-864-1551 • springfieldmo.gov