A $500 million federal lawsuit against Butler County, former House Speaker John Boehner, State Sen. Bill Coley, FBI agents and others is barely a month old, but a magistrate recommends dismissing all claims filed by imprisoned Dynus executive Orlando Carter.
United States Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman has halted all further briefings in the 35-day old case and recommended all claims be dismissed. She stated she was reviewing the lawsuit to determine if it should “be dismissed because it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.”
Carter filed the lawsuit from the federal prison in Ashland, Ky., on June 7.
“To be expressly clear, the purpose of this lawsuit is not to attack Carter’s conviction … ,” Carter wrote, noting he has a separate court action for that. “As shown herein, the conduct and investigations by certain agents within the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) as well as the conduct and behavior of certain politicians named herein cannot be trusted nor relied upon.”
Carter was found guilty on 11 felony charges in 2009 in a scheme that cost two banks more than $10 million, caused Dynus’ 2005 collapse and ignited political scandal. He was sent to federal prison for 15 years. Carter’s fellow conspirators were former company president Jim Smith, former Butler County Auditor Kay Rogers and former company employee Karin Verbruggen.
Those three pleaded guilty to their role in the deal, which included Dynus taking out $6.5 million in illicit loans from National City Bank in Butler County’s name, then using that fake deal to secure a line of credit with Fifth Third Bank.
Carter claimed Boehner, former Butler County Commissioner Charles Furmon and others falsely accused him with statements they made about the case. He pulled Coley into the lawsuit because he said he was an attorney for National City Bank.
Coley is the only defendant so far to have filed a motion to dismiss based on the claims against him.
When told the magistrate judge recommended the case be dismissed, Coley responded “that’s fantastic.” Coley said Carter was making some “convoluted” argument that the bank wasn’t out any money but the jury determined differently.
He said the judicial system, at least so far in this case is working as it should.
“Our judiciary system, everybody gets a chance to make their case but we have a great judiciary system where sometimes that stuff can be handled very quickly and with a minimum amount of hassle, while at the same time protecting everyone’s rights to have their day in court,” he said.
Commissioner Don Dixon was not personally named in the lawsuit, but the county had to engage their insurance company’s lawyers to deal with it. He said lawsuits like this are frivolous where the county coffers are concerned.
“It’s never good when the county gets sued…,” Dixon said. “There’s all kinds of motions and hearings and answers and hundreds and hundreds of hours of attorneys, it’s a huge amount so it’ll be a big savings (if the suit is dismissed).”
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black will have the final say on the outcome of the case.