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Published: Tuesday, 9/11/2012

Montgomery Co. Dems sue Husted

Pair file lawsuit over termination

BY JIM SIEGEL
COLUMBUS DISPATCH

DAYTON -- The pair of Democrats fired last month from the Montgomery County Board of Elections for defying an early-voting directive have sued Secretary of State Jon Husted in federal court, arguing they were unjustly terminated.

Also, Mr. Husted will not have to appear in federal court on Wednesday to explain why he directed Ohio's 88 county elections boards not to set early voting hours on the three days prior to Election Day, after U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus ruled that voting must be allowed on those days.

Mr. Husted rescinded his directive last week and apologized to the court.

The judge ruled Monday that there is no need for a hearing.

Meanwhile, the new lawsuit points out that Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, Sr., had more than 27 years experience on the Dayton-area elections board when Mr. Husted fired them for voting to permit weekend hours for early in-person voting. Mr. Husted had issued a directive to all 88 counties limiting early voting to weekdays. He fired them after a hearing officer recommended the action.

Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Ritchie also asked for a temporary restraining order so they can be reinstated until a hearing is scheduled.



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