MARYLAND

Soccer fields: County testifies additional Potomac soccer fields docs found

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For months, some residents in Potomac have said a land deal to turn an organic farm into a soccer field has lacked transparency, accusing the county of withholding public information. But according to Tuesday's in-court testimony, their claim might be true.

Members of the Brickyard community have fought County Executive Ike Leggett's plan, claiming he struck the deal behind closed doors.

Potomac resident Curt Uhre explained, "The county executive negotiated in secret to give away this public land to a private entity."

Leggett has previously said the real problem is that this exclusive community simply doesn't want the soccer fields in its backyard. He has since moved forward with his proposal.

"It is not up to the community that lives there to decide whether they want something in their community. It is a broader community perspective," Leggett countered.

Last November, residents filed a request for public documents related to the deal, but the county repeatedly claimed it handed over everything it had.

But in court Tuesday, the county admitted it found 30 to 40 additional documents.

Uhre said, "We felt we were justified, but we're also very sad that the citizens of this county have to go to court to get documents that by law should've been produced."

The county would not give ABC7 an on-camera interview but claimed it was an honest mistake and agreed to have its Technology Department do an additional search.

Residents say they suspect the new documents will make clear there was a backroom agreement.

"We believe that taxpayers and citizens of Montgomery County have a right to the documents to know what happened," Uhre continued.

Now, the county and members of the community will sit down with the Technology Department and decide how the search for additional documents will be conducted.

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