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Case continued for Bridgeport Village officials

Updated: Wednesday, August 28 2013, 06:12 PM EDT

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio - Bridgeport Village officials are working to figure out what steps to take to move forward following a lawsuit filed against two council members.

Last week, NEWS9 learned that those council members were accused of creating positions and then filling those positions themselves.

Wednesday should have been
the trial for this case. Instead it has been continued as village leaders met Wednesday morning to determine a course of action, specifically with regard to village solicitor Mark Thomas, who was excused from the case. 

The case was continued until October, but questions lingered as to how to go about this case.

"The issue came up is how we are going to proceed because in a case like this," attorney Michael Shaheen said. "I, as a private attorney, am permitted to file the case. However, the prosecution of it needs to take place by the village solicitor and or some instances the prosecutor."

Part of their solution was to remove Thomas from the case.

"I as the solicitor had prior conversations with the two defendants," Thomas said. "Even before the case was filed. issues had been raised and we had discussions."

Discussions about the terms, the facts and the allegations within the case were what Thomas and the defendants talked about.

"As an officer of the court, I represented to the court that I felt that as such, that I need to be conflicted out," Thomas said. "The court agreed on that and it will be part of its order."

Now they will determine who will prosecute the case before that date on Oct. 2,
or if the court will be needed to appoint someone to do so.

"The next step is that the court will contact the prosecutors office to confirm whether or not they will get involved," Shaheen said. "If they do not, then the court will appoint someone to represent the plaintiffs."

NEWS9 placed placed a call to Greggory Beck, the attorney for the two men in this case,
Ben Lenz and Dave Smith, but has not received a response.

Case continued for Bridgeport Village officials

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