Sheffield won't be sued over smoking ban for now

Rather than suing Joseph Mitchum will wait and see if the next election cycle will bring in some new council members.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 1:07 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2019 7:05 PM

The city of Sheffield will not be sued anytime soon over their ban on smoking.

Joseph Mitchum bought a piece of property prior to the October 2018 smoking ban in Sheffield. He had hopes of opening a cigar shop. The citywide smoking ban stopped that dream from becoming a reality for Mitchum. After threatening litigation against the city he has decided to sit this one out for now.

"My desire was never to sue the city of Sheffield it was to open my business," said Mitchum.

Mitchum has now stopped his $50,000 dollar claim against the city of Sheffield over their strict smoking ban, which stopped him from opening his cigar shop.

"I had conversations with two city council members early on in this process and I was given the belief and encouraged to open the business then the vote took place and I wasn't able too," said Mitchum.

Sheffield city council voted down repealing the smoking ban in early July. That's when Mitchum's attorney, Bennet Pugh, said they can move forward with a lawsuit or wait until the 2020 city council elections.

"Joe and Tina made a very informed and I think a very wise decision to not sink a lot of money into a lawsuit when the whole thing could be resolved with a whole new mayor and
council," said Pugh.

Pugh also told WAAY31 he couldn't guarantee a trial date on the lawsuit prior to the 2020 elections. WAAY31 has spoken with several restaurant owners who are also against the smoking ban. Mitchum said he believes the controversy over the ban could cause some city council members to lose their offices.

"Some members of the council didn't vote the constituency wishes and rather voted their beliefs and what they wanted to be done I think the citizens of Sheffield have seen that and changes will be made in the new election," said Mitchum.

The mayor of Sheffield who voted against the smoking ban said he’s glad they aren’t getting sued but said he believes Mitchum was done wrong.

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