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Target 9 Investigation delves into Bridgeport lawsuit

Updated: Friday, September 20 2013, 12:28 AM EDT

By: Ryan Eldredge

Bridgeport, OH --

Council President Dave Smith and Councilman Ben Lenz are named in a lawsuit brought against them by residents in the village of Bridgeport

That lawsuit accuses Smith and Lenz of hiring themselves as EMT’s and it also accuses Smith of hiring his wife as a clerk.


It claims they did it through an ordinance, one they voted for.

But maybe we shouldn't jump to conclusions.


A further look at the meeting minutes we obtained from the date in question shows that Smith and Lenz both voted present. Not yes like four other council members.

Those minutes were made official through the signature of Mayor John Callarik himself.

As for Smith's vote on the ordinance that got his wife hired, we looked at the minutes from that meeting in April and found, yet another present vote by Smith.

But we also found that Smith and Lenz did vote to create the positions they got hired to do in an ordinance listed in the same minutes from March.

We dug deeper, looking at the list of plaintiffs, the ten residents that filed the suit. Out of those 10 we recognized 3 names, all of them tied to candidates running in November’s election for city council.

Another interesting thing to point out from the original paperwork filed with the Court of Common Pleas is the date it was filed, August 22nd.

Sources have confirmed that both Lenz and Smith resigned from their positions on April 29th, acknowledging that they had violated revised code, a code that prohibits them from receiving compensation as both councilmen and EMT’s.

Earlier this week we reported that Lenz and Smith are being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission.


Until that investigation is complete they will continue to be under a restraining order.

But it is also interesting to note that both Lenz and Smith were the ones who reported themselves to the commission, not the plaintiffs.

Stick with news9 and for continuing coverage.


Target 9 Investigation delves into Bridgeport lawsuit

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