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Lawsuit filed against Mayor, public works director over raw sewage problem

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The city of Davenport is being sued over problems with the public sewer system which lead to raw sewage backing up in basements back in April in a west side neighborhood.

"It's negligence on behalf of the city, the city has let this go for so long, for so many years, and they haven't maintained it", said Mike Meloy, the attorney who filed the lawsuit at the Scott County Courthouse on Friday morning.

Meloy is the former city attorney for Davenport. He filed the lawsuit on behalf of Ron and Linda Weibold, a couple who lives in the West Garfield neighborhood.

On April 17th, nearly three feet of sewer water and raw sewage backed up into their basement. Meloy attached some photos of the aftermath onto the documents filed with the lawsuit.

"This shows the dank, rotten sewer water on the floor of the basement, including feces", he said.

The suit names Davenport Public Works Director Michael Clark and Mayor Bill Gluba.

"This is just outrageous behavior. The city  has not provided its statutory duties to the Weibolds and other residents in the West Garfield area", Meloy said in an interview with News 8.

The city recently held a public hearing on the problem in the neighborhood, and advised residents to look into a back flow prevention valve during storms in the future, because a fix for the problem is several years and many millions of dollars away.

"The Weibolds pay sewer fees every month to the city of Davenport, they pay property taxes, but the city tells them they've got no money to fix the sewer system at the same time they're spending millions to buy a gambling operation?', Meloy said.

"The city of Davenport failed to maintain their sewer system, that's a basic system that every homeowner expects and wants", he said.

The suit asks for unspecified damages.Meloy says the city at one time bolted down manhole covers in the neighborhood to keep storm water out of the streets.

"This prevented storm water from going into the street, instead the storm water was backing up into homes here", he said.