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Canoes sit overturned along the shoreline of Leroy Douglas' campground in Silver Lake in July of this year. Douglas has settled a federal lawsuit he brought against the state Adirondack Park Agency and Adirondack Council that alleged they conspired to halt his development plans on the lake.<br />Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy <em>Adireondack Daily Enterprise</em>
Canoes sit overturned along the shoreline of Leroy Douglas' campground in Silver Lake in July of this year. Douglas has settled a federal lawsuit he brought against the state Adirondack Park Agency and Adirondack Council that alleged they conspired to halt his development plans on the lake.
Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adireondack Daily Enterprise

Silver Lake man settles suit against APA, Adk Council

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A Silver Lake man has settled the remaining claims in a multi-million-dollar federal lawsuit he brought against the state Adirondack Park Agency and the Adirondack Council.

Leroy Douglas had claimed the environmental group conspired with APA to reopen a 2006 enforcement case the agency pursued against him for a wetlands violation.

As part of the settlement, neither the APA nor the Council acknowledge any wrongdoing.

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Reported by

Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

Douglas filed the lawsuit three years ago, seeking more than $67 million plus punitive damages and attorney fees.

He alleged the Council worked in concert with the APA to try to stop his development plans and force him to sell his lakefront property in Clinton County.

The agency, in court papers, had said it opened the second enforcement case because Douglas didn't remediate the wetlands violations. The Council had argued that its actions were “protected speech and petitioning of government."

A trial had been scheduled next year, but papers outlining the terms of a settlement were filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Syracuse.

Under the agreement, the APA will pay Douglas $30,000 to cover some of the legal fees he incurred. The Council’s insurance company will pay Douglas another $9,500.

Douglas’ attorney, Matthew Norfolk of Lake Placid, said in an email that his clients decided to settle for personal reasons and to move on after a lengthy legal battle.

As part of settlement, Douglas acknowledged that the Council did not violate his constitutional rights or interfere in his case with the APA.

APA spokesman Keith McKeever said the settlement avoids “unnecessary costly expense to the taxpayers … which would have been incurred in the event of a prolonged trial."

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