A $300,000 lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin representative against the City of Alexandria and five city officials, which alleged neg- ligence in the city's inspection of his house, has been dismissed by a federal judge, but a similar suit is still pending in a state court.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. dismissed the federal suit, filed in July by Republican Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., on grounds that the plaintiff lacked any constitutional right to properly conducted building inspections, according to an official in the city attorney's office.
Sensenbrenner had claimed the city and its officials had violated his civil rights by their alleged negligence.
A similar $300,000 suit against the city and its officials filed by Sensenbrenner is pending in Alexandria Circuit Court.
Sensenbrenner's complaints to city officials about improper construction of his house helped spark an investigation of the city's Code Enforcement Department this year.
The five-month probe also investigated allegations of conflicts of interest involving workers in the code enforcement division. At the investigation's close, in June, Alexandria City Manager Vola Lawson ordered a major overhaul of the department that included the firing of two building inspectors, the demotion of the department's director and the hiring of a new director. Her office is still interviewing applicants for that job.
Lawson had recommended terminating a third inspector for an allegedly poor inspection of the Sensenbrenner house. But the inspector, identified by sources as John Brandt, appealed the recommendation. City officials have not taken any further action against Brandt, who remains on leave with pay.