9 unique lawsuits filed recently involving Butler County officials or entities

In recent weeks and months, several lawsuits have been filed against and by current or former Butler County officials or entities.

Here are nine recent lawsuits that have, or had, some type of impact on Butler County:

February 2019

Former Marine Anselm Caddell, of Butler County, filed a federal lawsuit against Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell and Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones alleging his rights were violated after a traffic-stop arrest.

READ MORE HERE: Man sues Fairfield judge, Butler County sheriff claiming violation of Constitutional rights

Campbell and Jones, as well as the city of Fairfield, were named named in the suit filed in United States District Court in Cincinnati. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and claims Campbell fails to “conduct arraignments such that some detained individuals are held in custody for more than 48 hours – sometimes for long as five days – prior to their appearance before her, in violation of their clearly established rights.

Caddell’s attorneys claim “Campbell routinely fails to convene court on days when she knows individuals are being held in the Butler County Jail in excess of 48 hours, in violation of their constitutional rights.”

The suit also says Jones fails “to release from his custody those individuals who where subject to warrantless arrest and who have been detained for more than 48 hours without appearance before a judicial officer.”

Caddell was stopped by the Ohio Highway Patrol for an alleged traffic violation early on Feb. 23, 2017, according to the suit. Caddell, who is licensed to carry concealed weapons and had a firearm in the trunk of the vehicle when stopped, was detained in the Butler County Jail until Feb. 28, 2017 before being arraigned by Campbell.

February 2019

Instead of proceeding on a $2 million federal lawsuit, a plaintiff was fined $500 for filing a “vexatious” complaint.

READ MORE HERE: Plaintiff fined $500 for filing federal lawsuit against Butler County judge 

Lorin-Kal Buckner sued Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah Powers for $2 million on Feb. 4, and Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman recommended the case be dismissed. She then imposed the fine three days later.

Buckner filed his civil lawsuit “involving wrongful foreclosure and having a pecuniary interest, laundering of money through loan activity” against the judge and Butler County, saying he was deprived of his “rights, liberty and freedom.”

He also claimed in a court filing he suffered “physical (loss of the gall bladder) and emotional cruelty.”

February 2019

Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers is being accused in a lawsuit that she breached an oral contract related to failing to live up to an alleged promise of a home to the biological mother of her adopted twins.

Jamie Robinson, of Hamilton County, claims in the civil lawsuit filed Feb. 5 that the freshman Hamilton Republican lawmaker reaffirmed that promise in a March 2018 phone conversation, which was recorded.

READ MORE HERE: Butler County lawmaker accused of fraud, 'illegal adoption contract'

She claims that conversation, which a series of text messages proceeded it, “brought back, literally, the wounds of the past,” causing her to “relive the entire ordeal.”

Among other allegations, Robinson claims Carruthers breached an oral contract and “made promises … to induce her into not disclosing an illegal adoption contract.” The lawsuit’s allegations include fraud, breach of oral contract, promissory estoppel and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Robinson claims Carruthers is liable for more than $480,000.

Carruthers, in a prepared statement, called the lawsuit “heinous,” and said it “would be detrimental to her children.”

She also said, “It has no merit and is designed to pressure me into giving someone money who is not owed anything ... .”

November 2018

Former Butler County auditor Kay Rogers filed a lawsuit against PNC Bank asking a federal judge to stop her restitution payments of $4 million.

In her suit, she said PNC Bank executives, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, continue to tell “a litter of lies” regarding the existence of a $4 million loan, according to a nine-count civil lawsuit filed in November 2018.

READ MORE HERE: Former county auditor, convicted for role in scandal, claims fraud against PNC Bank  

But the Cincinnati attorney for the bank said in a motion to dismiss filed in February 2019 Rogers’ complaint lacks legal standing and several counts are beyond the statute of limitations.

“Rogers is using this civil lawsuit to collaterally attack her 2008 criminal conviction. This is improper, and her complaint should be dismissed in its entirety,” according to attorney Karen Giffen’s motion to dismiss.

Rogers was sentenced to two years in prison in 2011 after pleading guilty in 2007 to conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud and filing a false income tax return. Rogers, a single mother of six, said she took a plea deal “against her inner will” to “protect her family from further embarrassment and public humiliation.”

Rogers was ordered to pay $4 million in restitution for a fraudulent loan taken out on behalf of the county. However, she said the document she signed just affirmed the county was good for the money.

Rogers also claims in her lawsuit to be the only person ordered to repay the loan even though others were involved.

September 2018

A suspended Lakota special needs teacher sued the school district claiming its policies discriminate against the rights of transgender students.

Lakota officials criticized special needs teacher Emiliy Osterling, saying the allegations were “patently false, not supported by facts and are without merit.”

READ MORE HERE: Lakota officials: Suspended teacher's lawsuit 'desperate, frivolous'

The Journal-News was the first to report that Osterling, who worked at Liberty Junior School, was suspended without pay by the Lakota Board of Education. She filed her lawsuit in September 2018 in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati alleging she was being punished for publicly supporting an expansion of transgender students rights.

The lawsuit remains active in federal court.

August 2018

St. Clair Twp. officials said they were not giving up on a gun range battle where a neighbor in the small hamlet say errant bullets shot through an elderly woman’s living room.

But a Butler County judge said the township had not proven bullets found in the woman’s home came from the Lake Bailee Recreational Park & Gun Range.

READ MORE HERE: St. Clair Twp. says it won’t give up gun range battle

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Muench-McElfresh said she sympathized with the neighbors near the shooting range on Gephart Road, but did not find strong enough evidence to blame the business for the incident. The township’s lawyer, Gary Sheets, said they will not drop the case.

Sheets said was considering amending the complaint to add the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as a defendant, which could help, through litigation, get to the bottom of the range safety issue and the township’s right to enforce standards.

June 2018

Butler County avoided a civil lawsuit after Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth dismissed a civil suit filed by filed by fired airport manager Ron Davis.

Davis sued the county in April 2018 claiming he was terminated because he complained about alleged violations of the Federal Aviation Administration.

READ MORE HERE: Butler County airport lawsuit dismissed 

Davis wanted his job back, as well as damages, including emotional distress, punitive and more, according to the lawsuit.

He was airport administrator for 18 years and claimed he was fired for questioning how the airport terminal construction was paid for and warehouse space rented at the airport by the sheriff’s department.

He said both issues may have violated Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

In the lawsuit, Davis said nearly $1 million paid for by the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield, and West Chester and Fairfield townships for airport improvements “had not actually been spent on the airport improvements or to pay down the airport’s debt related to improvements, but instead had been deposited into the county’s general fund.”

June 2018

Imprisoned former Dynus executive Orlando Carter sued Butler County, and several local politicians, FBI agents and others for $500 million in federal court.

Carter’s 65-page civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati was promptly dismissed by federal Judge Magistrate Stephanie K. Bowman 35 days after it was filed. In reviewing the lawsuit, she had 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.”

READ MORE HERE: Federal magistrate dismisses $500 million Dynus lawsuit involving several Butler County officials 

Carter said in his lawsuit said “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 in 2009 on 11 felony charges in a scheme that cost two banks more than $10 million, caused Dynus’ 2005 collapse and ignited political scandal. He was sentenced 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.

February 2018

Most of the allegations by a former Butler County magistrate, who claims she was fired for being Jewish, were dismissed from a federal lawsuit she filed against three county officials.

Kimberly Edelstein filed her $1 million lawsuit against Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser and Assistant Prosecutor Dan Ferguson in May 2017. She claimed Stephens fired her for wanting to take off eight high holy days, and that all three men bad-mouthed her, preventing her from securing another job.

READ MORE HERE: Court tosses most claims in suit against Butler County judge

Edelstein asked the court to declare the county’s vacation policy unlawful, to force the three men to stop defaming her and to award her in excess of $300,000 each for compensatory, punitive and liquidated damages.

Edelstein also claimed the county’s policy of allowing Christians to have Christmas Day off without taking a vacation day is discriminatory.

Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz said in her ruling the Sixth Circuit already said the establishment of Christmas as a paid legal holiday does not violate an individual’s rights, and is not discriminatory.

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