Former Trumbull deputy files suit
Says termination violated civil rights
YOUNGSTOWN — A former corrections officer with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office has filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming his First Amendment rights were violated.
He was fired by Sheriff Paul Monroe for what the lawsuit claimed was circulating an email questioning the county government’s expenditure of funds.
Joshua Guysinger, who gave a South Euclid address, filed the lawsuit in August 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. It is assigned to U.S. Judge Benita Pearson.
In a recent docket entry, Pearson ordered the case to go to mediation before Magistrate Amanda Knapp, who is to schedule a potential settlement hearing between the parties between March 13 and March 27. Lawyers for both parties are to participate in a teleconference with Knapp on Thursday to discuss details about the mediation process.
According to the lawsuit, Guysinger had asked for a trial by jury, in seeking damages caused by his firing by the county on Oct. 22, 2021.
Guysinger claimed his firing stemmed from action taken by his brother Jarrett, who also was a corrections officer in the sheriff’s office, whose employment was terminated on Feb. 27, 2019.
According to the lawsuit, Jarrett Guysinger had filed his own wrongful termination lawsuit against the sheriff’s office over a Family Medical Leave Act issue.
During settlement negotiations in Jarrett Guysinger’s lawsuit, it was claimed the sheriff’s office offered more money on the condition that Joshua Guysinger resign his position.
The lawsuit stated two separate settlement offers were made with increased values if Joshua Guysinger, who was not connected to his brother’s lawsuit, agreed to resign.
Joshua Guysinger was appalled by the offer, and after his complaints within the office “were not taken seriously,” according to the complaint.
He drafted an email to all employees, elected officials and department heads, saying he believed the county had grossly mismanaged county funds. The email was sent to about 725 people on Oct. 4, 2021.
The lawsuit states the next day, Joshua Guysinger was placed on administrative leave as disicpline for sending the email. A little more than two weeks later, he was notified of his firing in a letter written by Monroe.
The firing was done as an act of retaliation, the lawsuit states.
An attempt to contact David Smith of Cleveland, attorney for the county and Monroe, for comment about the lawsuit was unsuccessful.