OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against the Village of Walthill that alleges officials illegally denied a permit to build a church in the eastern Nebraska community.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, alleges the village violated the law in 2017 by denying a permit sought by Light of the World Gospel Ministries, a non-denominational Christian congregation. Although village officials denied a special use permit to build a church on property it owns in a commercial area, they approved construction of nonreligious places of assembly, including a library and education center, the lawsuit claims.
Walthill, a community of about 800 people, is located within the Omaha Reservation.
A lawyer for the village declined to comment.