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Fired Miami County election official sues for defamation, wants job back

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:06 AM


            A former Board of Elections worker in Miami County has filed a lawsuit against the county, alleging he was improperly fired. STAFF/FILE
A former Board of Elections worker in Miami County has filed a lawsuit against the county, alleging he was improperly fired. STAFF/FILE

TROY – A former deputy director of the Miami County Board of Elections fired in January 2017 is suing the elections board and a former member, claiming violations of open meetings laws and defamation.

Eric Morgan of Tipp City filed the complaint in county Common Pleas Court. He seeks a court order invalidating the board’s vote to terminate him from the position, a return to the position and damages in excess of $25,000 from the board.

The lawsuit alleges the elections board violated Ohio’s public meetings law. The violations allegedly took place in January 2017 to discuss Morgan in a claimed undisclosed meeting and at least one other executive session at which the suit claims the topic of discussion was not disclosed publicly as required.

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The failure to follow the meetings law should invalidate the board action, returning him to his former position, Morgan and his lawyer argue in the complaint.

Morgan also requests from former board member Dean Tamplin of Tipp City compensatory and punitive damages of more than $25,000 each as a result of alleged defamation. Tamplin and Morgan are both Democrats.

Morgan alleges he was asked by Tamplin to support Tamplin’s continued work on the board in 2017, but Morgan refused to say if he would. A few days later, on Jan. 24, 2017, he claims the board met in a special meeting, where Tamplin allegedly asked him to resign. When he refused, he was subsequently terminated from the job, Morgan claims.

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He claims he was defamed when Tamplin “made statements to the press and other members of the (elections) board that the Democratic Party ‘lost confidence’ in Morgan and that was the reason for his termination,” the lawsuit contends. Morgan claims the statement was harmful to his reputation and his career as an election official.

Tamplin did not respond to a request for comment. The board of elections staff said both the elections director and deputy director were not available for comment.

Morgan was hired as the deputy director in March 2013.

At the time of his termination, the board had two Republican members and one Democrat with the December 2016 retirement of board member Kelly Gillis, a Democrat. The Republican board members were Ryan King of Piqua and Jose Lopez of West Milton.

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3 Middletown residents to plead guilty to plotting $1.2M jewelry heist

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:50 AM

Middletown residents plead guilty plotting jewelry heist

Three Middletown residents accused of stealing $1.2 million in diamonds and jewelry during a 2016 heist will plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati today, according to our partners at WCPO.

Amit “Alex” Patel, 28; Mimi Chang, 42; and Danny Ray Horne, 28, are charged with conspiring to rob two New York salesman after a jewelry show in Pennyslvania.

>> 5 Middletown residents indicted in million-dollar diamond robbery

The salesman stopped at a restaurant in Monroeville, Penn., after a show on April 2, 2016. One of the salemen went into the restaurant while the other stayed in the car with suitcases of jewelry, according to WCPO.

The robbers punched the victim waiting in the car, grabbed the suitcases and took off running. 

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

Two others, Andrea Mullins, 35; and Deanna “Dee Dee” Williams, 36, have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the robbery, according to WCPO.

Patel has been charged in two other jewelry robberies.

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Crews battle massive flames from two vehicle fires in Dayton 

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:37 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 4:15 AM

Crews fight car fires on Dayton street

Dayton fire crews were able to quickly extinguish two vehicle fires in Dayton early Tuesday morning. 

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The fires were reported around 2:15 a.m. in the 200 block of Niagra Avenue. A car and SUV were both fully involved when fire crews arrived. 

It’s unknown what caused the fires to start.

The incident remains under investigation. 

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Wet roads expected for morning drive; isolated severe storms this afternoon

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:26 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at when more storms arrive Tuesday and if they will be strong.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • More showers, storms today
  • Warmer than normal all week
  • Unsettled holiday weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

TODAY: Early morning showers fizzle with some dry time with lingering wet roads, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A Flash Flood Watch has been canceled. A little breezy heading into the afternoon as highs reach around 80 degrees.

After lunch, showers and storms begin to redevelop with activity sticking around through the afternoon and for the drive home. 

“Isolated severe storms are possible with wind and small hail being the main threat”, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Storms shift southeast into the evening with it turning dry overnight. 

>> WHIO Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

WEDNESDAY: A dry start to the day as clouds continue to decrease. Not as muggy for the afternoon with sunshine and highs in the upper 70s. 

THURSDAY: A great day with it being dry from start to finish. Plenty of sunshine with highs in the low 80s. 

>>County-by-County Weather

FRIDAY: Another dry day with temperatures heating up again in the mid-80s. Expect sunshine and very few clouds. 

SATURDAY: Sun and clouds for the day that’s expected to muggy and very warm. Highs reach in the middle to upper 80s. A passing shower or storm is possible. 

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Ohio man calls police to report he’s being followed by a pig 

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 12:54 AM

Credit: North Ridgeville Police Department 
Credit: North Ridgeville Police Department 

A man in Ohio realized the downside of bringing home the bacon when a pig wouldn't stop following him on his way home this past weekend.

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Officers in North Ridgeville, Ohio, received a call from a man who said while walking home from an Amtrak train station, a pig started following him, and he didn't know what to do, according to our partners at WCPO. 

Thinking he had just left the bar in Elyria named the Train Station, police went out to pick up the caller, who they believed was drunk. 

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When officers arrived, they found the man stone-cold sober, complete with his four-legged stalker in tow.

In the end, the pig named Zoey, was very cooperative and placed in the back of a police cruiser and taken to the station. Police made the animal feel at home for a bit inside the department's dog kennels until the owner was notified, and it was picked up.

Authorities didn't say if the owner was cited for having a pig on the loose.

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