"Official: Attorney lied to stop vote"

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE CHRONICLE-TELEGRAM, 5-27-99, By Joe Mosbrook Jr.

"Official: Attorney lied to stop vote

Claims Avon's Phillips misled Board [of Elections] on rezoning issue

AVON-- An assistant county prosecutor contends Avon attorney Gerald Phillips lied in his attempt to stop Tuesday's [6-1-99] special rezoning election.

"Quite frankly, I'm a little tired of him playing fast and loose with all this,'' said Gerald Innes, who represents the Board of Elections.

"It's time to start fighting back.''

Innes filed a 25-page brief Monday to the Ohio Supreme Court charging Phillips "made knowingly false statements (and) deliberately misled, deceived and impeded (the elections board) in their investigation.''

The election Tuesday will determine whether developer Mitchell Schneider can build 100,000-square-foot stores at the proposed Avon Commons shopping center on Detroit Road just east of state Route 83 ...

Phillips fought to disqualify the citywide vote, ... Phillips lost the appeal to the board ... [on 5-20-99], but he already had filed the motion with the Supreme Court. The high court has not made a final ruling but ordered the election to go forward and will impound the ballots without allowing the results to be announced until it does rule.

In the court filing, Innes said Phillips claimed he had not been notified of the appeal hearing, when in fact he had.

"It was clearly a stall tactic,'' Innes said ...

The brief also said Phillips claimed a particular petitioner's address did not exist, when it does. Phillips said Innes is mistaken on that point.

And most importantly, Innes said, Phillips challenged more than 500 signatures "without any reasonable basis for the great majority of the challenges, causing the (elections board) to waste time and effort investigating false leads.'' Phillips said he had a reasonable basis for the challenges ...

Innes said Phillips had not acted in good faith.

"We were trying to help him investigate these signatures, but he was fighting against us,'' Innes said ..."

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