Mahoning board of elections cut from lawsuit

By Ashley Luthern


The Mahoning County Board of Elections has been dropped as a party in a lawsuit relating to a 2011 levy campaign.

The board was named in a lawsuit filed by Atty. James Gentile on behalf of Larry Barnes and Lisa Barnes of Boardman and had filed a motion to dismiss. Then Gentile filed a motion to take the board out of the lawsuit, which was granted Thursday, according to records.

The lawsuit alleged that the Boardman Coalition Against Crime, the levy committee supporting a 2011 Boardman police levy, damaged the Barnes’ reputation in printed campaign materials that displayed the mug shots of two criminals from Boardman, including “R. Barnes” of “Lockwood Blvd. in Boardman,” documents state.

“R. Barnes” referred to Robert Barnes, 32, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of robbery and two counts of aggravated robbery and kidnapping. He is related to Larry and Lisa Barnes, who reside on Lockwood Boulevard.

Online court records for Robert Barnes list his address two ways: the Mahoning County Justice Center or 7005 Lockwood Blvd. in Boardman.

The remaining defendants in the lawsuit are the Boardman Coalition Against Crime and coalition member George Farris, whose business, Farris Marketing, also is named.

Atty. Rhys Cartwright-Jones, representing Farris, had filed a written response denying all the allegations of the lawsuit and requesting that Farris Marketing be removed from the suit because it “was not an agent of the Boardman Coalition Against Crime.”

Cartwright-Jones wrote that if there was such a mailing, “care was taken in the selection of wording in the mailing to ensure that only public-record information was used.”

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