Kare 11 – 2010-08-27
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A Waite Park man won’t have to pay fines for hanging anti-Islamic posters on utility poles in St. Cloud.
An administrative hearing officer on Friday dismissed two $100 citations against [Client]. He ruled that St. Cloud selectively prosecuted him for violating an ordinance against posting materials on utility poles.
The ruling by Russell Cherne said the city has never issued a citation in hundreds of previous violations of the ordinance, typically for lost pet or garage sale signs. The city has usually issued cease- and-desist orders instead, and [Client] will get one.
City Attorney Matt Staehling expressed disappointment but says there will be no appeals. Prosecutors declined earlier to press criminal charges.
[Client]’s lawyer, Ryan Garry, is championing the decision as a win for the First Amendment.