2016 lawsuit filed by Trumbull engineer’s employees dismissed

Staff report


A federal magistrate has dismissed a 2016 lawsuit by several employees of the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office alleging county Engineer Randy Smith violated their civil rights and retaliated against them.

Robert Gatti, Christopher Charnas, Kendell L. Stauffer, Timothy Davis and Jason Loomis claimed Smith retaliated against them for engaging in union activities or supporting or associating with Smith’s political opponents.

The Jan. 18 decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge George Limbert says the workers failed to prove the alleged comments by Smith “to get” certain employees for their union activities concerned matters that were within the scope of their employment because their duties did not include personnel matters or union issues or discussing such matters with Smith.

The suit also alleged a list was posted of supposed union sympathizers on the break-room bulletin board along with a copy of a mass text message Stauffer sent out regarding a lawsuit he filed against Smith seeking to have him removed from office.

They claimed this was an act of intimidation.

Limbert’s ruling said the workers failed to show the postings were sufficiently adverse or that Smith or his office was involved in the postings.

The ruling listed specific workers and their complaints against Smith, but the ruling says all of them were unfounded.

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