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, 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 




"Murray presented Fox’s side of the story at the September hearing, where he allegedly made five statements that Green references in her counterclaim..." SR why do you use the word "allegely"? You video taped the meeting didn't you? He either made those statements or he didn't. What is "alleged" is whether the statements are true.


I'm glad I don't live in Huron, which is pronounced hu-rine (like urine with an h sound) and NOT Hur-ON.

I think they should not only get rid of Fox, but the whole school board, as well. They could start fresh with all new people. The school board and Fox have wasted too much money arguing over a job.

Why Fox wants his job back knowing that the school board doesn't want him there is beyond me. He would be better off trying to find a job in some other district.


I don't pronounce Huron like you do, nor do I know anyone else who does unless they despise where they live or live close to and that only happens in the comment sections or the SR and NR. Sorry bout your luck that you "have" to feel like you live in, or next to a toilet bowl, Lisa.


Check out my answer to SoldonAcorns. The same can be said about you.

I'm not self abosorbed trying to pass myself off as something I'm not. You don't live in Pepper Pike, Solon, or Beachwood. You don't live in a mansion. You live in a normal house in good old Huron. You're a big fish in a little pond, but you strut around with your chest puffed up, looking down your nose on people who don't live where you think is an elite place to live. It's not. There's nothing superior to Huron in any way shape or form. It's like any other small town. Why do you feel you have the right to be an elitist?

I never said Huron was a "toilet bowl" you did. I was just commenting on how the pronunciation of it has changed since people from out of the area moved there. It's H-urine. It's just how it's supposed to be pronounced.

If you're ashamed of "living in a toilet bowl" then you should move.


I found this for you. BOTH pronounce it like I do. Take a look:


Awwww someone is butthurt cause they can't afford to live in Huron...Mallard Run, Carriage Square & Heron Cove have vacancies honey, you'll fit in nicely at one of those fine establishments !


There's where you're wrong. I like Huron. I'm not the one who's ashamed of how it's pronounced. I'm just saying that people originally from the Sandusky/Huron area pronounce the way I do. It wasn't until people from out of the area moved to Huron that the pronunciation was changed (maybe in the late 80's or early 90's). THEY are the ones who were ashamed pronounce it Huron (H-urine) like the people who lived there.

I have nothing against Huron. I have family that lives there. It has a lot to offer (beautiful park with a beach, lots of churches, good schools-apart from the Fox issue) the Pied Piper, the Water Festival, etc...).

And by the way, SoldonAcorns--My butt doesn't hurt like yours does. How many homes do you own? I own 3 nice homes, plus a rental. I have a bachelor's degree from BGSU, I'm married to a wonderful man that treats me like a queen, and I'm retired, which means I don't have to work. Honey, don't try to get in a verbal attack on my character. You WON'T win. Did I also mention my IQ is over 130? You're a loser who has low self esteem. That's why you feel the need to defend something with such a low class attack on my income and character. You need to attack others to feel better about yourself. Sucks being you, doesn't it?


I found this for you. BOTH pronounce it like I do. Take a look:


This gets better all of the time..Isn't Ms. Greene the former sister in law of the football coach? Is there any tie between her and her attorney, Mr. Legando or is this just coincidence? The board could have saved a lot of money for the district by suspending Fox with pay until the end of his contract. Much money spent of false face-saving morals here and not good common sense.

Darwin's choice


Tsu Dho Nimh

Attorney Legando is not related to Mrs. Green. He is her sister's nephew. Her sister was once married to his uncle.

Julie R.

Why did Murray even bring up the memorial sign at the football stadium when it was the furthest thing from the issue?


It's called throwing sh!t into a fan and see what sticks to the wall...Murray's are well known for this tactic.

Tsu Dho Nimh

That is exactly what it is. I hope Mrs. Green wins. Someone needs to address the treasurer next.


I hope she loses

Julie R.

Some of those joke courts at the Erie County courthouse are also well-known for creating half a dozen issues to take away from the real issue.

Raoul Duke

The screwhead lawyers are the only ones that will come out ahead.


Young people pay attention. Do not get older & be driven by ego. That would be a sad way to live.

William Jeffers...

Great advice if anyone is smart enough too take it! Don't forget that common sense is no longer very common. Just sad.


The lawyers have ruined this country and all our freedom.


I believe the public should sue Mr. Fox and all the school board members for what it cost the public to support this ever enlarging nonsense.

The public might as well sue all the participants.


Absolutely ! Imagine 1,000 tax payers each filing in small claims court....


Huron 1969,

I'm thinking of a class action suit against Mr. Fox and the school board. I have a former Huron graduate, who is a lawyer, that will take the case. He is pretty upset with the antics of all those involved. He might even do this one free.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Please keep us posted.


Ditto that!


I don't know how to feel about this. should we just have reprimanded mr fox then let him go in 2014 after his contract runs out? or do we do what we just did and lose a million bucks?


He would probably sue either way.


I believe this lawsuit is between Ms. Green and Mr. Fox, and doesn't involve the school district financially. The district isn't suing Fox for defamation - Green is.


I still think that Fox's lawsuit is much like McClung suing Bill Dwelle when he knew fully well the accusations he made were factual. It was the only McClung had left to do. McClung even admitted this when he was sentenced. Fox is suing these people because it is the only chance he has to prevail. I hope Greene wins with her countersuit.

Julie R.

Don't count on Donna Greene winning a countersuit against a Murray in the joke Erie County courts. After all, look what happened to that Krista Harris lady when she made allegations about Baxter ...... not to mention Elsebeth Baumgartner when she made allegations about Baxter, the Murray law firm and Erie County's favorite Lorain County law firm of Stumphauzer & O'Toole.


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.


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.



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.