This one is in the process of being filed on behalf of former Wastewater Director Rick Duncan.
“It’s in the mail today. So it should be filed tomorrow or the next day,” Attorney John Sherrod of The Sherrod Law Firm in Dublin, Ohio, said Tuesday. “It’s in the mail to the Scioto County Clerk of Courts right now, with a check.”
Duncan was part of a triune firing by Murray on Jan. 4, the day she officially took office. Murray also fired City Service Director Chris Murphy and City Waterworks Director Sam Sutherland. Sutherland has since returned.
Count one in Duncan’s lawsuit claims defamation and libel. The charge states on that date Murray, and thus the city, published false and defamatory statements about Duncan, and that those statements were made, “either negligently, intentionally, wantonly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, and were made for the ulterior purpose of denigrating the plaintiff (Duncan) in a public forum.”
The suit claims the statements caused severe damage to Duncan including, but not limited to, damage to his reputation, his personal life, and his career.
Count two claims conspiracy to defame: “Defendants and defendants’ agents/servants conspired to publish false and defamatory allegations. Defendants and defendants’ agents/servants acted intentionally, wantonly, and/or recklessly and for an ulterior purpose.”
Again, the claim is that Murray’s conduct has caused severe damage to Duncan, but not limited to, damage to his reputation, his personal life and career.
Count three is titled Defamation Per se, and describes her actions as an attack on Duncan’s professional character and standing.
Count four deals with Intentional and/or Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.
Count five is Substantive Due Process, which Sherrod maintains was not extended to Duncan in the termination process.
Count six says Duncan was denied procedural due process.
Finally, count seven (Promissory Estoppel) incorporates the allegations contained in the 35 paragraphs involving the other charges.
In each of the counts, the suit calls for damages in excess of $25,000.
That is the standard minimum figure utilized in all filings of that type of suit, and is not the actual figure being sought.
Sherrod also represents former City Development Director Daniel Saez, who is also accusing Murray, and thus, the city of Portsmouth, with libel and slander in remarks alleged on the same date at the same news conference.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232 or firstname.lastname@example.org