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Published: Saturday, 6/30/2007

Suit against officials is rejected

A federal district court judge this week granted a summary judgment in favor of Walbridge officials who were sued last year by a village business owner accusing them of harassing him.

Terry Carroll filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Toledo in January, 2006, against Mayor Dan Wilczynski; Councilmen Ron Liwo, Maureen Jacobsen, Ken Smith, and Jerry Eversman, and former Councilmen Mark Bollin, John Gregory, and Mark Timmons.

Mr. Carroll accused the village officials in the lawsuit of harassing him because he challenged a lawsuit filed in state court by the village to take property he owns through eminent domain.

He sought in excess of $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages in the federal suit.

Mr. Carroll of Oregon owns Carroll's Health and Fitness Center, 417 North Main St.

He claims he was wrongfully cited for illegal parking and his car was impounded for nearly a year. He said the village intimidated and harassed patrons of his fitness club.

U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary, in a four-page opinion, said, "The court finds that plaintiff has not put forth evidence sufficient to show that any of the individual defendants personally violated or directed Walbridge police officers to violate plaintiff's constitutional rights."

He further stated that there is "absolutely no evidence" targeting five of the councilmen, and "the evidence directed against defendant Ron Liwo and defendant Dan Wilczynski is insufficient to meet plaintiff's burden."

Additionally, he ruled that the "plaintiff's claims fail on the merits."

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