Leith Meeting

White supremacist Craig Cobb, right, had a brief face-off with a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe prior to the Leith City Council meeting Sunday night, Oct. 27, 2013. Cobb said the tribal members were off the reservation and should go back home.

Photo courtesy of GREGORY BRUCE

LEITH, N.D. — The city of Leith approved a building moratorium and took other steps Sunday night to prevent white supremacists from living on property without sewer and water and squatting in tents and trailers.

Law enforcement was only required to remove Craig Cobb from sitting at the city council's meeting table and to intervene when Cobb told members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe they were off the reservation and should go back home.

Cobb, a hate crimes fugitive from Canada with extremist neo-Nazi views, purchased a home and 12 other lots and is encouraging others to join him in taking over the town.

The new ordinances will require Cobb to put water and sewer into his house, where three other white male supremacists and two young children are also living with space heaters and no working furnace.

The city approved the second reading of a moratorium that prevents any new building until planning and zoning is put into place. It held first readings on the adoption of a uniform building code, on a requirement that residences must have water and sewer and an ordinance that prevents tents and campers from being on a lot for more than 10 consecutive days.

Under the ordinance, anyone without water and sewer will have 30 days to come into compliance, or face fines or possible condemnation.

Cobb said the town got by for decades without the ordinances. "Why now? Is it a wonderful coincidence that the moment I show up these are necessary? It's patently unfair," Cobb said.

He said he may rename Leith the "Village of the Damned" when he takes it over. He said residents are "evil and nasty."

The meeting was attended by about 50 people, mostly Leith residents and supporters.

With Cobb was Kynan Dutton of Oregon, a member of the National Socialist Movement, formerly the American Nazi Party. Dutton, a self-described skinhead, was forcibly removed from the Leith City Council meeting two weeks ago for screaming obscenities and racial slurs at council members and others. Dutton apologized for his behavior and said he was working to correct his drinking problem.

Leith city attorney Tom Kelsch said Cobb didn't comment on the ordinances when Mayor Ryan Schock asked for public comment and instead "went off on a tangent."

Cobb did try to livestream the meeting on an Internet site under the headline "Leith Council Under Color of Law HUD Violations." The livestream from his laptop failed to broadcast.

Councilman Lee Cook said the city is moving in the right direction.

"Until this is resolved, we're not going to let our guard down. This is just the beginning," Cook said.

The city will meet again next Sunday to hold a second reading of the water and sewer, building code and tent and trailer ordinances.

Kelsch said he's satisfied with steps the city is taking. "It puts the city in a position where it can start to handle it," Kelsch said.

Cobb said if the city wants to take action against him, it will have to sue his Cathedral of Creativity religion. He said he transferred all his Leith property to his religion last week.

Reach reporter Lauren Donovan at 701-220-5511 or lauren@westriv.com.

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