‘So let down;’ New Lebanon’s government problems may cost a man the custody of his daughter

NEW LEBANON — All of the problems surrounding New Lebanon’s government may cost a man the custody of his daughter after a city prosecutor failed to appear in court.

Brandon Smith was in the western district court of Montgomery County this morning where no one from New Lebanon came to represent the state and him.

Smith told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that the judge suppressed a confession from the woman who is accused of filing a false report against him that has kept him away from his daughter for a year.

“Very, very angry,” Smith said when asked how he was feeling.

Smith said his ex-wife is accused of filing a false report against him during a custody dispute, but her confession may be thrown out because whoever was supposed to be acting as the New Lebanon City prosecutor didn’t show up.

“I just don’t understand how I could be so let down,” Smith said.

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News Center 7 has previously reported over several weeks that the New Lebanon Village Manager, four department heads, and three other employees were placed on leave, and then terminated during an ongoing investigation into village money problems.

An acting Village Manager was put in place and the village hired a Beavercreek Law Firm as acting legal counsel.

The acting City Manager told News Center 7 that as of Monday afternoon, a prosecutor is in place, and News Center 7 reached out to the acting counsel law firm and is still waiting for a reply.

“If there’s no prosecutor there, then there is no one to make sure my rights are maintained,” Smith said.

Smith said his daughter is 7 and he hasn’t seen her in almost a year, since the child’s mother accused him of a crime.

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He said a federal agency and New Lebanon Police cleared him of any wrongdoing.

“This is my chance to get justice, to see my daughter, and to have that postponed,” Smith said.

Smith said he was upset and angry about his case falling through the cracks.

“And it’s by the small community I live in, it’s not a giant corporation, it’s my small town,” Smith said.

Smith said he was told no one had been on the job for the last three weeks as the New Lebanon City prosecutor. Court officials could only confirm that no one was heard this morning.

Smith has now been contacted by someone who is going to represent the state of Ohio for his case, but he doesn’t know about other New Lebanon cases referred to this court.

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