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Former city manager sues Sandusky

Andy Ouriel • Sep 5, 2015 at 9:56 PM


Updated (10 p.m.)

Nobody's lonely at City Hall — at least not charter officers or Sandusky city commissioners — after former city manager Nicole Ard filed a lawsuit Monday against all of them and the city.

Ard contends in the lawsuit she was wrongfully terminated — without cause — and is demanding a full year's pay, about $129,000. 

She’s also fighting for continuation of her health insurance benefits program.

“There is no valid excuse for (city officials’) refusal to pay the salary continuation and health insurance benefits owed to (Ard),” according to the lawsuit.

Ard was fired in March after a split 4-3 vote by commission. She had been city manager for just over two years. The city cited her failure to meet expectations set out in a performance improvement plan adopted by commission earlier this year. 

Commissioners, who discussed the lawsuit in an executive session Monday, opted against public comment after the meeting.

Ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. spoke briefly about the lawsuit late Monday.

"The city believes the lawsuit to be without merit and intends to vigorously defend it," Murray said.

The Register obtained a copy of this lawsuit through a public records request.

Among the defendants it lists: Murray, Dick Brady, Julie Farrar, Wes Poole, Scott Schell, Jeff Smith and Naomi Twine; finance director Hank Solowiej and law director Don Icsman.

Murray, Brady, Poole and Twine voted to fire Ard.

Smith, Farrar and Schell voted against the termination.

Commissioners vowed to streamline the hiring process after Ard was fired, and two months later the seven voted unanimously to hire Eric Wobser, executive director of Ohio City Inc., a nonprofit community development and neighborhood revitalization agency in Cleveland, to be city manager after an accelerated search for a new leader.

Wobser, who is from Sandusky and other parts of Erie County, starts July 7. 

Original story:

Former Sandusky city manager Nicole Ard filed a lawsuit on Monday in Erie County Common Pleas Court, alleging all seven city commissioners unjustly fired her.

She wants to obtain roughly $127,000, equivalent to one full year's salary.

Pick up a copy of Tuesday's Register to read more about it

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