Huber Heights files new information to dismiss suit from former councilwoman

Councilwoman Janell Smith. CONTRIBUTED

The attorney for the city of Huber Heights has filed additional evidence to have a lawsuit against the city dismissed.

Former city councilwoman Janell Smith filed a lawsuit against the city, the mayor and a citizen’s action group last year.

Council members Mark Campbell, Ed Lyons, Nancy Byrge and Don Webb are named as defendants, both individually and in their capacity as Huber Heights council members. City Manager Rob Schommer is also named. Councilman Don Webb’s wife, Antoinette Webb, and three other citizens are also named in the suit.

Smith’s lawsuit claims she was discriminated against based on her gender and disability (hearing loss). She alleges that current city council members and others had conspired to get her recalled in 2017. Smith’s suit also alleges that those named in the lawsuit violated the Huber Heights’ city charter.

ExploreCouncil member removed from office sues Huber Heights leaders

The city’s motion to dismiss the case says this count specifically must be dismissed because, even if every thing the suit states is true, none of the claims “give rise to a violation” of the charter.

Smith, through the suit, seeks millions of dollars in damages and a trial by jury.

The city’s legal counsel, Michael Sandner, originally asked the case against the city be dismissed in February. The city filed this additional evidence on Aug. 26.

One of the arguments in the motion to dismiss was that Smith did not pay a deposit for the taxpayer action, which is a requirement under the taxpayer statute, said Huber Heights city attorney Gerald McDonald. Recently another Ohio case ruled that paying this deposit, when required by statute, is mandatory and not part of the filing fee.

“We filed this to point out that the new case supports our position, and to hopefully get the file back on the judge’s radar,” McDonald said.

The case sits in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Steven Dankof.

ExploreHuber Heights wants councilwoman’s lawsuit thrown out

In Other News