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Published: Thursday, 8/27/2009

8 sue Toledo over residency rule

Eight former Toledo city employees, who each lost his job because he did not live within the city limits, filed a lawsuit against the city in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday in light of a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling that prohibited cities from enforcing residency requirements.

The lawsuit was filed by Timothy Eckman of Walbridge; Jeffrey Albright of Gibsonburg; Christopher McCarron of Fostoria; Adam Holcombe of Rudolph, Ohio; Genevieve Geha Kirkbride of Perrysburg; Sophia Ramos of Oregon; Tonya Ayers of Ottawa Lake, Mich.; and Thomas Moran of Oregon. Each was employed full time by the city of Toledo and had lost his job, the complaint states.

Last month, the high court decided separate cases filed by Toledo, Cleveland, and Dayton that challenged a 2006 state law forbidding residency requirements as a condition of employment. The cities had argued that the state law violated their constitutional right of home rule.

Since then, a few lawsuits have been filed against the city alleging damages caused by terminations based on the law.

The complaint filed yesterday asks the court to "reinstate each plaintiff and restore seniority, or award front pay and fringe benefits." The lawsuit also asks for $25,000 for each plaintiff as well as compensation for lost wages, employee benefits, and any other lost compensation.

Some of the former workers have not yet secured other employment, according to Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault, & Schaffer, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. The case has been assigned to Judge Stacy Cook.

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