Posted by Nick Dutton - email
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – An intern for the City of Toledo says he was let go after completing a report on Toledo's street lights and handing it over to a city council member after being subpoenaed.
Stephen Leggett, who was taking part in a paid internship, compiled a report that revealed several problems with street lights in Toledo.
Leggett says just days after he presented his report to Toledo City Council, he knew things were not looking good when he discovered his city email account had been shutdown. Also, he says the city would not return his phone calls.
However, a city spokesperson says Leggett was not fired and that internships simply come to an end at the year's conclusion.
Leggett disagrees and believed that he would be able to stay on because he was about to begin a new project.
"All of a sudden, I had to cancel that and walk away from that. I would say absolutely, my termination had to do with that report and not the end of year," said Leggett.
In the report, Leggett took random samples of the city's street lights, which main focus was on outages, and discovered around 27 percent of street lights were not functioning – and that another 25 percent were not bright enough.
"Generally, what I find is in areas that are more socioeconomically challenged, you'll find more lights out," said Leggett. "Where you find more owner occupancies and higher incomes, you'll find more lights lit."
Additionally, Toledo City Council's Michael Collins subpoenaed Leggett for the document and because Leggett felt the research was a public record, he believed he was legally obligated to turn it over.
"The subpoena was important because it gave the legal requirement to be here, so one could not challenge his voluntariness," said Collins.
Leggett does admit he could have notified the administration and says he is sorry that they were taken by surprise.
In addition, Collins says Toledo Edison has started last weekend fixing some of the lights.