Lawsuit filed against village, ex-mayor
Stanley Zoldan, a Lordstown councilman charged criminally in 2011 after he turned off the power to the village wind turbines, has filed suit against the village and the former mayor, Michael Chaffee.
The suit, filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, says Zoldan complained to village officials that the turbines had been put into operation without first receiving electrical inspections.
After failing in his attempt to have the village turn them off pending an inspection, Zoldan turned them off himself, he said in the lawsuit.
Chaffee consulted on Zoldan’s actions and was advised to have the Lords-town Police Department file a report.
“Unknown officers of the Village of Lordstown then filed a complaint in Newton Falls Municipal Court” charging Zoldan with disrupting public services, a felony.
Village officials could have served Zoldan with a summons requiring him to appear in court. Instead, the village took him into custody “in order to cause Zoldan emotional distress and embarrassment and to damage him politically,” the suit said.
“He was handcuffed and transported to the Trumbull County jail, where he was held until he arrainged to be released on bond. He was fingerprinted, photographed and his personal information was permanently entered into databases of arrestees.”
Prosecutor Terry Swauger of Niles Municipal Court dismissed the charge in January 2012, saying he didn’t feel there was enough evidence to prove that a criminal act had occurred.
Zoldan seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages against the village and Chaffee.
Chaffee said Monday he had not seen the lawsuit or talked to an attorney about it and had no comment.
The village’s current mayor, Arno Hill, who was a councilman at the time of the incident, said he had not seen the lawsuit yet and would not comment.
The suit is assigned to Judge Andrew Logan.