Monday, May 28, 2018
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Ohio Supreme Court denies request to stop Seneca County courthouse demolition

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request by a group of taxpayers attempting to stop the demolition of Seneca County’s 1884 courthouse.

In a case announcement posted late in the afternoon, the justices in a 6-1 decision denied the group’s motion for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and emergency writ of mandamus. No reason for the denial was given.

RELATED STORY: Countersuit filed on courthouse

The group was seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the demolition, which began this week with asbestos removal. The case still exists at the Supreme Court level.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor along with Justices Paul Pfeifer, Evelyn Lunberg Stratton, Judith Lanzinger, Robert Cupp, and Yvette McGee Brown denied the group’s motions. The sole dissenter was Justice Terrence O’Donnell.

On Monday, 44 Seneca County residents filed the action with the high court with the claim that Seneca County commissioners Ben Nutter, Jeff Wagner, and Dave Sauber have a legal duty to provide a courthouse that complies with federal access requirements and standards set by the Ohio Supreme Court. They also alleged the commissioners had shirked the “binding commitments” they had made to accept a $5 million, low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for renovation of the historic courthouse.

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