A former Wright State University consultant has increased his claims against the school to $2 million in a lawsuit alleging the Commission on Presidential Debates pulled the first 2016 presidential debate because of “epic gross buffoonery” at WSU.
John McCance filed a counterclaim on June 23 in Greene County Common Pleas Court in response to another lawsuit he’s a co-defendant in with WSU and the debate commission over cancelled hotel rooms at the Marriott at the University of Dayton.
The counterclaim is similar to a lawsuit McCance filed against Wright State in January, asking for $1 million in damages. But, he has since doubled those claims.
McCance upped his claim because the damages he suffered from the cancelled debate have “bubbled up,” he said.
“It’s had a derogatory effect on my ability to find work or clients,” McCance said. “It’s had a defamatory effect on me…I may lose my house.”
Like in the original lawsuit, in his counterclaim McCance cited chest pains and that Wright State breached a consulting contract with him.
The lawsuit McCance filed in January against WSU in Greene County Common Pleas Court contradicted former president David Hopkins announcement on July 19 that WSU chose to withdraw from the Sept. 26 debate because of rising costs. Instead, McCance claimed that the Commission on Presidential Debates pulled the debate, telling WSU on July 18.
McCance’s lawsuit and counterclaim both allege the commission pulled the debate because of the “incompetence of certain WSU staff, as well as the epic gross buffoonery and carnival type atmosphere on the main campus with all the infighting and lack of support and finger pointing.”
Wright State has filed a motion to dismiss McCance’s earlier lawsuit and it was dismissed from Green County court on June 15, according to court records.
The lawsuit was dismissed because of a “lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” meaning it may be better suited for a different court. McCance said he and his attorney will refile the lawsuit in the Court of Claims in Columbus.
Wright State has also filed a motion to dismiss the hotel room lawsuit filed on May 24 to which McCance replied with his $2 million counterclaim.
Attorneys representing Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co., the management company that runs and is partial owner of the UD Marriott, filed that lawsuit seeking at least $170,000 in damages for canceled rooms.
According to the lawsuit, 130 rooms were booked for the debate commission at the Marriott on Patterson Avenue in Dayton. Although the debate was cancelled, the hotel contract called for 75 percent of the hotel costs for the rooms to be paid, according to the lawsuit.
The attorneys representing Concord Hospitality have until July 10 to respond to WSU’s motion for dismissal, according to Greene County court records.
Joshua Kin, the attorney representing Concord Hospitality could not be reached to comment. Wright State officials declined to comment on developments in both cases.