Board members seek dismissal of lawsuit


By Sam Wildow

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TIPP CITY — Lawyers representing Tipp City Board of Education members Theresa Dunaway and Anne Zakkour filed motions last week, asking the petition against them in Miami County Common Pleas Court to be dismissed.

Petitioners in December filed in Common Pleas Court seeking for the removal of Dunaway and Zakkour from the Tipp City Board of Education.

The complaint against Dunaway and Zakkour alleges matters were discussed in executive session that were not proper for executive session and that they communicated with the school board’s legal counsel outside of what was approved by the board.

The complaint also alleges Zakkour directed the district superintendent in the writing of a “District Statement” outside of a public meeting without approval of the board, according to court documents.

Lawyers representing Dunaway and Zakkour are seeking to have the complaint dismissed, claiming the complaint failed to comply with signature requirements and failed to specifically identify sufficient reasons for their removal.

A motion from Zakkour’s attorney Bernard W. Wharton stated the complaint does not contain any “allegations, factual or otherwise, that the Miami County Board of Elections has verified either that the person signing the petitions attached to the Complaint are qualified electors,” or that the complaint met the required number signatures of electors to have the complaint filed.

The motion also claimed, “In examining the allegations made against Zakkour, a simple examination reveals that they are insufficient under the law.” The complaint does not “indicate what were the improper reasons for moving into executive session, what matters were discussed in executive session that were not proper for executive session, or what matters were discussed in violation of the Ohio Sunshine laws,” according to Wharton.

By filing in Common Pleas Court, the petitioners are seeking to have Dunaway and Zakkour removed through court proceedings on the grounds there was some type of misconduct in office. According to the Ohio Revised Code, any person holding office “who willfully and flagrantly exercises authority or power not authorized by law, refuses or willfully neglects to enforce the law or to perform any official duty imposed upon him by law, or is guilty of gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance is guilty of misconduct in office.”

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