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Lawyer: Armstrong Plans to Give Money Back to Students if He Wins Lawsuit

Board Member Rod Armstrong's lawyer said he thinks he has a strong case against the Stow-Munroe Falls School District Treasurer and the rest of the board members over an executive session Aug. 13, 2012.

If Rod Armstrong ends up getting any damages awarded to him from a , he plans to give the money back to the students, according to Armstrong's lawyer. 

Attorney Warner Mendenhall said Armstrong filed a complaint with the Summit County Court of Common Pleas Monday for three reasons:

  • That the board shouldn't have gone into [Aug. 13].
  • They went into an executive session to deal with what they felt is a problematic action by a public official. [The board voted to go into an executive session for personnel matters.]  
  • They never expressed any legitimate reason for an executive session.

The school board unanimously voted yes to go into an executive session Aug. 13. 

"Whoever is advising them is not advising correctly on how to manage their activity at the school board," said Mendenhall. "The whole idea is that essentially our public bodies — like school boards or city councils — should be open to public review of their activities. They were trying to hide what was going on in the school system at the school board meeting."

The next step is that the board members and treasurer will be served the complaint.

Board President Karen Powers said she had not seen the complaint yet, as of Tuesday evening, and deferred further questions to the district's attorney, Adam Miller. 

Miller was not reached for comment Tuesday. 

"They will deny allegations [of the complaint] I'm sure," said Mendenhall, who said he's handled several cases like this. "I think we have a really strong case."

Armstrong's attorney said his client is not involved in this to put money in his own pocket. 

In the complaint, Armstrong is asking the board to “provide and maintain accurate minutes of all meetings and to provide adequate reasons for executive sessions in conformity with Ohio law.” He also asks for $500 for each executive session that could be deemed inaccurate without the proper records of minutes.

"My client, if he wins, intends to donate whatever he wins in the lawsuit back to the students," said Mendenhall. "He's got a good job, he doesn't need the money ... he wants to make his point that these guys were behaving badly."

Jacob August 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Does he plan on paying back the district for the money they will have to spend on the lawyers? I'm guessing this will cost the district a minimum of ~$15k. Saying he will be giving back any money he wins is an insult. The money will come from the schools budget anyway, the only people here who wins are the attorneys.
I.M. Wright August 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Ahh....Warner Mendenhall. The laughing stock of Akron. Did he come with the recommendation of that pathetic and laughing-stock of the Stow, and so-called PAC, SCRG (or whatever their ridiculous acronym is). Both are good at wasting taxpayer money.
No Name, yea!!!! August 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM
So it is ok, that the district spends money on dining, program/mes from the UNESCO (UN affiliate), travel (including extra baggage), pay late fees for workshops, calls attorneys, that send out letters to citizens, to stop what is their legal right to items? How about some accountability for a change? Good for you Mr. Armstrong!! How many other suits have been brought against the district, that never made it to a court filing, and were settled out of court?
Jacob August 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Rod Armstrong's #1 "Do" thing on his website is "reduce payments to attorneys". LOL now that's rich...
No Name, yea!!!! August 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Well why don't we just see what is decided. More division in the community is not needed right now.
Susan August 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I agree with you on this, but how can you fuss at "No Name" (above) for "hiding behind" a pseudonym? is your name really I.M. Wright? Seriously?!?
Larry Kinnan August 29, 2012 at 02:14 PM
The district carries insurance for situations like this just like the City of Stow does
Bob Dianetti August 29, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Yes, the district would carry insurance for this, but usually there is a deductible that needs to be paid - typically around $5,000 - for legal services. Not to mention that if an organization has lawsuits on their record, their insurance will go up at renewal time just like car insurance.
Tom Mcfalls August 29, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Why doesn't he just drop the stupid case. He voted to go into executive session.
Larry Kinnan August 29, 2012 at 06:31 PM
The issue raised is not that they went into Executive Session but what transpired during it.
I.M. Wright August 29, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I see the "Selective Enforcement of TOS" mods are at it again. Again, no surprise why you "work" for Patch.
I.M. Wright August 29, 2012 at 08:52 PM
FELLOW TAXPAYER: "And if he loses and does not repay the district (taxpayers) the money wasted in this frivolous legal action, a certain taxpayer will file a class action lawsuit against Armstrong for re-payment."
Jeff Mittiga August 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I would hope that the parties involved will find a way to resolve this dispute without the need for lawyers and court hearings. Otherwise, this lawsuit could be a major distraction and waste of money for everyone involved.
jiim may August 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM
A certain tax payer. Lol. That certain tax payer is a fool.

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