Bagel baker to Redmond: Where's my dollar?

Bagel baker to Redmond: Where's my dollar? »Play Video
Dennis Ballen
Editor's Note: There has been an update to the story. It turns out, the city did pay the $1 -- to the attorney. It was lost among the thousands in attorney fees. Read the update at this link.

REDMOND - A bagel baker who fought the city of Redmond all the way to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says he's still waiting for a dollar.

It's a story about dough -- not bagel dough, but the dough Dennis Ballen hoped to make with street signs.

His business is in a warehouse complex and he thought if he wanted retail business, he'd need street advertising.

The city of Redmond called his street signs illegal. Ballen challenged them on 1st Amendment grounds and won.

The city appealed and lost.

Ballen says the city paid his attorney of around $300,000. For damages, he was awarded $1 -- all he asked for.

That court decision came last October. But Ballen never got his buck.

"They should pay him his dollar," said customer Alex Jobe. "They own him a buck. They need to pay him his buck."

If Ballen gets the dollar, he knows what he'll do with it.

"Our one dollar is going to be prominently displayed right above our doorway here," Ballen said. "So the thousands of people who come in here every week will see it."

Ballen added that he might add something to a picture of the dollar.

"It may have a doctored picture of the mayor," he grinned.

Office Manager Karen Priszner added: "We need every dollar we can get. Every one counts and that one counts most of all."

Translation: it's about principle - not dough.

We contacted the Redmond mayor's office, but were told the "mayor was in a meeting." There was no reply by day's end.

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