Judge delays decision in Riverside councilman’s removal case

Riverside Councilman Steve Fullenkamp, left, waits in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court during a September 2016 hearing. WILL GARBE / STAFF

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Riverside Councilman Steve Fullenkamp, left, waits in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court during a September 2016 hearing. WILL GARBE / STAFF

A judge has delayed a decision in a lawsuit filed by Riverside Councilman Steve Fullenkamp to prevent his fellow council members from removing him from his elected position.

A decision from Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Skelton was expected Nov. 15, but will now be rendered on or before Nov. 22, according to a filing late Tuesday.

In September, Skelton asked Fullenkamp's attorney Dwight Brannon to prepare a briefing addressing whether charter language instructing council members to "deal with" the city manager instead of city staff is vague, and whether the charter's removal provisions are contrary to the Ohio Constitution.

Fullenkamp's colleagues attempted to remove him from office after he was accused in June by Police Chief Frank Robinson of attempting to intervene during a criminal investigation involving a supporter of Fullenkamp.

Two other complaints from Director of Planning and Program Management Brock Taylor and Vice Mayor Mike Smith involve Fullenkamp allegedly telling Taylor he should have disregarded the instructions of the city manager in a long-standing zoning dispute. Smith alleged Fullenkamp’s statements were improper interference with city administration under the charter.

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