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ILLEGAL FEES: Leader Works To Avoid Refund

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A Polk County judge has stopped a Des Moines leader’s latest attempt to avoid giving refunds to residents.

The city owes residents $40 million in franchise fees that were tacked on to people’s utility bills illegally from 2004 to 2009.

Des Moines was ordered to refund a portion of the money after a resident sued.

The Des Moines Register reports a city council member has been circulating letters about the lawsuit, encouraging individuals and businesses to say they would not accept any reimbursement.

The city was ordered to stop the solicitations during a hearing last week.