Striptease pays off: Boulder City council offers $10,000 to boxer-shorts-protester Seth Brigham
Back in February, we told you about Seth Brigham's nipple-baring appearance at a Boulder City Council meeting -- a protest of sorts against a proposed nudity ordinance that would have criminalized the display of female nipples in the city. Brigham, who remained in his boxers, was arrested -- a move Boulder will now be paying for, to the tune of $10,000.
Seth Brigham under arrest.
In June, attorney David Lane took on Brigham's cause. In a letter to council, Lane argued that actions preventing Brigham from speaking or being heard violated his right to free speech and hinted that sans a settlement, Brigham would "file a civil rights case in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado."
Apparently, Boulder took this threat seriously -- although Brigham points out that "they didn't admit to doing anything wrong. When they refused to do anything other than offer us $10,000, we said, 'Perhaps you should pay us another $10,000, since you're unwilling to admit any wrongdoing.' But they didn't."
Nonetheless, he continues, "writing a check proves they were in the wrong, whether or not they want to deny any wrongdoing or not formally apologize. And there was no confidentiality agreement, so I'm completely free to speak about it."
And he does. He expresses disappointment with the city's actions back in February and since then, particularly in respect to council restrictions limiting members of the public to two minutes' worth of comment time if more than fifteen folks have signed up to expound, as well as proposed decorum rules that would ban everything from nudity to mask-wearing at council meetings.
These new regs haven't been enacted yet, and Brigham is hopeful that Boulder's branch of the ACLU, which also objects to many aspects of the decorum guidelines, will succeed at modifying or nixing them.
As for what he accomplished by taking on the council, Brigham says, "I think they're more aware of the dangers of usurping somebody's right to free speech, even if they're not consciously favoring free speech" in the way meetings are conducted.
Page down to read the settlement agreement, which gives Lane a generous 40 percent cut of the final amount, as well as the attorney's statement about the Brigham case: