Lawsuit seeks ouster of BC board president

NEW WASHINGTON – More than 300 petitioners have requested the resignation of Buckeye Central School District board president Susan Shealy because she allegedly violated Ohio’s open meetings laws.

The civil action was filed in Crawford County Common Pleas Court in May after Beth Diesch approached the board in April requesting Shealy resign from her post.

“We gave her the option to remove herself or talk with us and work it out,” Diesch said.

The petitioners allege Shealy has broken several open meetings laws under Ohio’s Sunshine Laws, according to court documents.

The complaint alleges Shealy committed misconduct in office as stated in the Ohio Revised Code 3.07.

According to Diesch, the petition states Shealy committed malfeasance and nonfeasance as stated in the Ohio Revised Code, meaning she had not properly performed her duties as board president.

“There is not just one instance,” Diesch said. “There is conclusive evidence of misconduct.”

The complaint states that there are 24 allegations against Shealy.

“There are many defects in the complaint and overall we believe it is without merit,” said Sandra McIntosh, Shealy’s attorney. “The most glaring problem with the complaint is that the vast majority of those who signed the petition could not have been given accurate information about what they were signing because they signed the petition in March and April and there are allegations in the complaint that relate to things that occurred in May.”

According to Crawford County Common Pleas Civil and Criminal Case Manager Donna Fox, McIntosh filed a motion to dismiss the case June 7.

“The petitioners have until June 26 to respond to the motion,” Fox said.

“While I cannot speak to the motivation of the individuals behind this action at this time, I can tell you that if they thought a meritless lawsuit would force Mrs. Shealy to resign a position she has been elected to not once, but twice, they were mistaken,” McIntosh said. “Those in the community who know Mrs. Shealy know that she has always conducted herself with integrity and honesty, working for the good of the school district and its students.”

Diesch said the petitioners are working on a rebuttal. After that, Judge Russell Wiseman will decide what to do next.