Second Tipp City school board member asks for judge to dismiss claims

TROY – The second Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Board of Education member whose removal is being sought by a citizens group has asked a judge to reconsider a decision that dismissed some claims and instead throw out all allegations of inappropriate conduct.

The motion for reconsideration was filed Friday by attorneys for Anne Zakkour, who along with board member Theresa Dunaway, was named in a Tipp City Concerned Citizens civil action seeking legal removal in Miami Common Pleas Court.

Visiting Judge William Wolff in July dismissed some claims but said a hearing would be needed on others to determine if the conduct alleged was appropriate.

The Concerned Citizens accused the two board members of improper exercise of authority; improper use of authority for personal gain; abuse of power; refusal or willful neglect to enforce the law and uphold their duties; exceeding the scope of their responsibilities and authority; and gross neglect of duty, misfeasance and/or nonfeasance in office.

Lawyers for Dunaway and Zakkour sought case dismissal, claiming the petitions did not comply with state law and procedures for removal and were so vague and ambiguous that it was not possible to defend themselves.

Wolff ruled that allegations that Dunaway and Zakkour violated Ohio’s Sunshine Law, improperly used authority and related acts would be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

Remaining are claims Wolff said describe “discrete matters with sufficient particularity” that would allow a response from the board members.

In the request for reconsideration, Zakkour’s lawyers argue the “complaint is simply not specific enough under statutory proceedings for removal.” The lack of specifics does not allow Zakkour to properly defend herself, the motion said.

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