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Case against Bridgeport councilmen dismissed

Updated: Tuesday, December 31 2013, 07:45 AM EST


By: Ryan Eldredge and NEWS9

A ruling by a Belmont County probate judge will allow Dave Smith and Ben Lenz back inside the council chambers.

Village solicitor Mark Thomas said, "The two councilmen who were suspended are looking forward to getting back in to work for the village of Bridgeport "

Two months ago, the court decided it would wait until a ruling was made by the Ohio Ethics Commission, but it appears that ruling won't matter thanks to re-election.

"Regardless the decision coming down is because they were overwhelmingly re-elected they have a new term and thus the court case becomes a moot point because it only effected the current term," said Thomas.

Thomas told NEWS9 any allegations made against them will be wiped away with a new term.
"Because the allegations that were made go back a ways to the previous term and there would have to be new action or inaction for another case to be filed," Thomas said. "I really don't see that happening."

Now, according to Thomas, it is time for the village to focus on moving forward.
"The good news for the residents is that there will be six council people there working for them. And I think that's the biggest thing -- trying few months when you only have four of six seated."

Lenz and Smith will begin their new terms on Wednesday.

Both have decided not to comment at this time.

Case against Bridgeport councilmen dismissed

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