Huron board member sues Fred Fox

Lawsuit alleges he and attorney made false statements. Read the court filing here.
Jessica Cuffman
May 1, 2013

In response to fired superintendent Fred Fox’s defamation lawsuit against three Huron School board members, one of the board members is suing Fox in a counterclaim.

Read the court filing here

The board officially fired Fox April 2. He has also filed a second lawsuit against the district, appealing his termination and seeking further damages. Read it here.

Huron School’s 15-page answer to the defamation lawsuit includes a counterclaim by board member Donna Green, who alleges defamation and is seeking more than $25,000 for statements Fox and his attorney, W. Patrick Murray, allegedly made about her during the past year.

It specifically references statements Murray allegedly made while representing Fox at a special meeting in September 2012, when Fox was to answer the 23 allegations the board laid out against him as a basis for his firing.

Fox’s termination came on the heels of allegations he improperly submitted reimbursement requests for expenses after a trip to Arizona; maintained an inappropriate business relationship with a district vendor; and carried on an extramarital affair during school hours using school computers and email.

Murray presented Fox’s side of the story at the September hearing, where he allegedly made five statements that Green references in her counterclaim, each of them focusing on an allegation she misappropriated $7,000 in district money, according to lawsuit.

One such statement was false and defamatory, the court documents allege.

“Indeed, both Fox and Murray knew or had reason to know that Green had not wrongfully appropriated any money from the school system for herself,” Green’s attorney, Drew Legando, stated in the lawsuit. 

The dispute between Green and Fox stems from a 2009 decision to erect a memorial sign at the football stadium to replace a fallen tree. The project cost about $5,900 and was to be paid back as people purchased plaques to place on the structure, according to the lawsuit. 

The district fronted the initial $5,900, but it has yet to be paid back in full to the district, according to transcripts from Fox’s termination hearings.

Exactly which organization was supposed to pay back the money? This is where Green and Fox clash.

Fox and his attorney knew Green hadn’t received any money from the district, and she did not benefit financially at the district’s expense, according to Green’s counterclaim.

Murray sees it differently.

“The facts speak for themselves,” he said Tuesday. “The board was given incorrect information that the sign would be paid for by the alumni association.

“After that representation was made and that sign was constructed, she changed the story,” he said.

Transcripts from the hearings, available at sanduskyregister.com, show testimonies on the issue from Green and district treasurer Mike Weis. Green’s lawsuit references testimony by former North Point Educational Services Center superintendent Bill Lally, which is featured on pages 1,671 to 1,675 in the testimonies posted at sanduskyregister.com. 

 

Comments

Kelly

rightfully convicted felon Elsebeth Baumgartner

Julie R.

Only reason the disbarred attorney Elsebeth Baumgartner is a so-called convicted felon (what a joke) is because your network of corrupt clowns in Erie, Ottawa and Cuyahoga County made her one ........ not because she was a threat to THE PEOPLE but because she was a threat to them.

Lil DAB

Hear! Hear! Applause for that!

There you go again

Gees, Julie R., you've only hit the tip of the iceberg on misconduct in our court system! But, then again, we have the same behavior all the way up to the White House.

Kelly

LOL!

Julie R.

My guess is --- the Erie County common pleas court will dismiss Donna Green's lawsuit against Fox and Murray, just like the jokes dismissed the former Vermilion mayor Jean Anderson's lawsuit against the city of Vermilion, their law director and the law director's Lorain County law firm of Stumphauzer & O'Toole for refusing to provide itemized billing statements pertaining to what the law firm was charging the Vermilion taxpayers.

Tsu Dho Nimh

If your scenerio is true, then the court would also dismiss Fox's lawsuit against Mrs. Green and the other two members.

Julie R.

Don't count on the court dismissing a lawsuit filed by a Murray. After all, there's money to be had for the attorneys via the Huron taxpayers. Sort of like the Jack Falfas vs. Cedar Fair lawsuit. Didn't see the Erie County courts dragging that case on and on and on with one unlawful ruling and/or scam after another (a.k.a. Legal Abuse) like they do to others in corrupt Erie County, did you? They not only addressed that case in a timely manner, they also ruled that Cedar Fair was to pay $2 million in back pay to Falfas. His big shot attorney from the big Lorain County law firm of Wickens & Panza ~ who merged with a small Sandusky law firm about 5 years ago ~ will get a big chunk of that and Cedar Fair's attorney ~ a Murray ~ will also make lots of money.

I know how the injustice system works in Erie County and believe me when I say they aren't in it for the people. They have about as much respect for the average citizens as they do the law --- which is zilch and then some.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Maybe I am just a wishful thinker but Judge Binette has already dismissed one filing submitted by Pat Murray (Legando -1, Murray -0). Hoping that Judge Tone is reasonable, too.

Julie R.

You're preaching to the wrong choir when you try to sing the praises of the judges at that more than corrupt Erie County courthouse to me.

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