Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer. CONTRIBUTED

Huber Heights city manager sues former councilwoman and her attorneys

In her lawsuit, filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court last December, former city councilwoman Janelle Smith alleges that fellow council members and city employees conspired to get her recalled and discriminated against her based on her gender and disability.

The city of Huber Heights and council members Mark Campbell, Ed Lyons, Nancy Byrge and Don Webb are named as defendants both individually and in their capacity as a Huber Heights council members. Schommer and Mayor Jeff Gore are also named. Councilman Don Webb’s wife, Antoinette Webb, and three other citizens are named in the suit well.

Schommer has filed this counterclaim in his capacity as a citizen.

His attorney, Dwight Brannon, called Smith’s lawsuit a “sham complaint,” saying it is harmful to the city and Schommer personally.

“This is an attempt to paralyze the city,” Brannon said.

The city of Huber Heights filed a response this week asking that Smith’s suit be dismissed. The city’s attorney argues that many of the facts laid out in Smith’s suit are not true, which Schommer’s response and counter suit echoed.

RELATED: Huber Heights wants councilwoman’s lawsuit thrown out

“We’re serious about this. Lawyers shouldn’t be suing cities for no reason,” Brannon said.

Smith also alleges that those named in the lawsuit violated Huber Heights’ city charter.

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

Smith was a member of the city council from 2016 to 2018, when she was recalled by the voters.

“I take offense to anyone who misuses the courts and system to file frivolous lawsuits for wrongdoing,” Schommer said in an emailed. “This sham lawsuit costs the taxpayers, and I feel obligated to respond and take my own action to not only defend and protect my family, me and my position, but also to protect the processes and position of the city.”

Schommer is seeking damages to recoup attorney fees. In his suit against Smith’s attorneys, Mike McNamee, Greg O’Connor and Alexander Cloonan, all with McNamee and McNamee law firm, Schommer and his counsel allege that they participated in malicious civil prosecution, abuse of process, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy, among other things.

“McNamee knows better,” Brannon said. “This case just makes lawyers look bad. It’s an affront to me as an attorney.”

McNamee declined to comment.

EARLIER REPORT: Council member removed from office sues Huber Heights leaders

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