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Mayor s office seeks $30K to retain smoking ban attorney

The Ford administration yesterday asked City Council to approve up to $30,000 to retain attorney Keith Wilkowski to defend the city s smoking ban.

Though the city has 40 lawyers in its law department, Mr. Wilkowski is an expert in handling appeals in federal court, John Madigan, senior city attorney, said. “I m not saying we couldn t handle it, but we want someone with particular expertise,” Mr. Madigan said.

Council is expected to vote on the appropriation Tuesday.

A group of Toledo bar owners has filed notice of an appeal with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The group is appealing U.S. District Judge James Carr s denial of a preliminary injunction in November to block enforcement of the city s ban on smoking in most bars and restaurants. The law took effect Aug. 24.

Mr. Wilkowski is a former Toledo law director and county Democratic Party chairman.

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