CHARLESTON, W.Va. – ACLU-WV Legal Director Aubrey Sparks issued the following statement following a press release from the city of Wheeling:

“Settling a lawsuit is a decision that only a client can make – an attorney cannot settle a case based on their opinions, because it’s not their rights at stake.

The information released by the City of Wheeling describes settlement negotiations between the parties that have not been approved by the ACLU’s clients, and have not been reduced to writing.

We are thankful to the city for identifying an exempted site. We think that this is an issue that can be resolved in the coming days in a way that protects people’s rights, as well as their lives in this state of emergency. However, there are details to work out, questions still to answer, and - most importantly - clients whose approval is absolutely necessary for a final agreement to be reached.

So, we put out this statement to be clear: the City of Wheeling’s press release accurately describes proposed negotiated terms, but no final agreement is in place. Putative class members with questions are encouraged to contact our office.”