Troy mayor served papers in defamation lawsuit


By Matt Clevenger & Sheryl Roadcap

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[email protected]

TROY — Days before the primary election, a defamation lawsuit has been filed against Troy Mayor Robin Oda. Also included in the lawsuit are Citizens Electing Robin Oda for Mayor, a group who mailed out campaign flyers to Troy voters in April, and Troy resident Lydia A. Matthews, who wrote a letter to the editor that was published in Miami Valley Today newspaper.

Jeremy M. Tomb, plaintiff who filed the case with the Miami County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, April 28, seeks $25,000 in punitive damages, according to court documents.

The case centers around statements made in the flyer claiming Oda’s opponent, Troy City Council President William Lutz, “accepted money from a lawyer who is suing the city.”

“The referenced statement of Citizens Electing Robin Oda is a blatant lie,” the lawsuit alleges. “knowingly made by Citizens Electing Robin Oda for the dual purposes of harming Plaintiff Tomb and seeking some benefit from the lies for Oda’s struggling re-election campaign.”

“The statement made by Citizens Electing Robin Oda was made with Oda’s approval, and was made with the specific design to defeat Oda’s opponent/candidate,” the lawsuit said.

The suit also involves a letter to the editor written by Matthews and published by Miami Valley Today on April 26, which was re-posted to Oda’s personal Facebook page.

“The defendants conspired together to knowingly publish false statements about plaintiff Tomb in his personal and professional capacity,” the suit said, “and knowingly or recklessly made their false statements with the intent to harm the reputation of plaintiff Tomb and in a desperate attempt to affect the outcome of a contested primary election.”

“When I got the flyer, I was very upset,” Tomb told Miami Valley Today. “When it was brought to my attention, because a lot of people knew who she was talking about in the flyer, but I really just decided to let it stand and move on, even though I felt that it was harmful to me and it was very upsetting. It was false. But then when she re-posted that letter to the editor, I just felt like she wasn’t going to stop the mistruths, so I felt like I needed to do something to demonstrate what the truth was and keep her from constantly defaming me. I felt like I was left with no option.“

Oda declined to comment when Miami Valley Today reached out for comment on the defamation lawsuit filed by Tomb.

Reporter Amantha Garpiel also contributed to this story.

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