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Published: Wednesday, 4/13/2005

Genoa: Schools act to dismiss lawsuit against coach

Attorneys for the Genoa Area Local Schools Board of Education filed a motion last week to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges that a high school girls' basketball and softball coach allowed illegal activities to take place earlier this school year.

The lawsuit, filed last week by Kristina and Gary Nissen of Curtice, Ohio, on behalf of their daughter, Genoa High School junior Jill Nissen, alleges that Coach Thomas Kontak "verbally abuses student athletes, discriminates against student athletes ... who questioned Coach Kontak's coaching decisions, and violates [Ohio High School Athletic Association] rules and school rules."

The suit seeks a temporary restraining order prohibiting Mr. Kontak from coaching the softball team.

Officials from the OHSAA and the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services reviewed the allegations and both sent letters to the district stating that they did not find any violations according to their guidelines, said Genoa Superintendent Dennis Mock.

The plaintiff's attorney, Michael D. Portnoy, said he plans to oppose the motion to dismiss that was filed by the district's law firm, Eastman & Smith of Toledo, in a response this week.

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