McDonald man files suit against village, claiming he was denied public records

Staff report


A McDonald man has filed a mandamus action in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court requesting the court order the village to produce documents he has requested – or provide a reason why the documents are not available.

Joseph Dugan of West Marshall Road asked the village by certified mail April 10 for minutes of the village’s service committee meetings for all of 2016 and 2017 and studies conducted during 2016 regarding the water-rate increase that went into effect at the start of 2017, the suit says.

The village solicitor, Douglas Ross, replied April 12 that he was working on the request, and the documents would be provided.

On May 9, Ross warned Dugan “not to file any frivolous lawsuit against the village,” the suit says. Ross also informed Dugan that Ross was preparing a document for Dugan related to the water-rate increase, but it was not a “committee study.”

The lawsuit maintains the village ordered a committee study, but Ross did not provide information on why a committee study was not available.

Ross, when reached by telephone Friday, said he provided Dugan with all of the documents the village has regarding the rate study and the committee’s work, including documents in the first quarter of 2017 and again this year.

He said Dugan files a great deal of public-records requests, and that is his right. He also has filed two suits in the Ohio Court of Claims, which were both dismissed, and elsewhere.

The suit seeks all available remedies, including $100 per day in monetary compensation for each day of unreasonable delay.

The office of McDonald Mayor Glen Puckett referred all calls to Ross. The suit was filed by Atty. Donald Gallick of Akron.

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