Former Chauncey Mayor’s Lawsuit Set For Trial

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A lawsuit filed by a former mayor of Chauncey against the village has been set for trial on Feb. 25 in Athens County Common Pleas Court now that a judge has denied an attempt to get it dismissed.

Former mayor Ginger Mender and some of her family members filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the village and some current and former village officials, claiming that they interfered with her ability to serve as mayor, were abusive and tried to force her from office — which the defendants deny. She resigned in 2009.

In her lawsuit, the Mender sought in excess of $25,000 in damages on each of 12 counts cited in the suit. However, Judge L. Alan Goldsberry dismissed half of the counts in 2010.

In a ruling last Tuesday, Goldsberry denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the remaining six counts. The case was then scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 25.

The remaining counts allege gender discrimination, defamation, civil conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, loss of consortium (that family members lost Mender’s companionship because what occurred cause her health problems) and that the village is responsible for the actions of its employees.

In their motion for summary judgment, the defendants argued that they have immunity, but Goldsberry declined to find as a matter of law that the village has immunity and also did not rule in favor of other defendants’ argument for immunity.

“The court finds that factual issues pertaining to (the claim of gender discrimination) should be presented to a jury or other fact-finder,” Goldsberry ruled.

In their motion for summary judgment, the defendants argued that Mender had failed to show enough facts for her claims to go forward, an argument disputed by Mender.

Goldsberry ruled that the other counts in the lawsuit should also be considered by a jury.