Ross tax collector sues commissioners, claims defamation, retaliation
The tax collector for Ross is suing five elected commissioners in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, claiming defamation and retaliation.
Gerald O'Brien's complaint accuses the township and eight people of defamation, retaliation and deprivation of due process, according to the lawsuit filed on Friday. He is seeking more than $35,000 in damages and legal fees and punitive action for alleged violations of the Sunshine Act.
Named as defendants are township Solicitor Bonnie Brimmeier, former Township Manager Deborah Grass, vacancy board Chairman George Tunney and Commissioners Dan DeMarco, Lana Mazur, David Mikec, Grant Montgomery and Grace Stanko.
“Obviously, we will be defending this vigorously,” Brimmeier said. “His complaint contains a lot of falsehoods.”
O'Brien, elected last year, said in the lawsuit that he was denied an office and banned from the municipal center based on unproven accusations that he sexually harassed township employees.
Attorney John R. Orie Jr., who represents O'Brien, declined to comment.
Ross commissioners in March 2013 banned O'Brien from the municipal center for anything but board meetings. A letter to O'Brien, dated March 5, 2013, said employees complained that he made inappropriate comments and asked them to do things that “made them feel uncomfortable.”
The letter, written by Brimmeier on behalf of the commissioners, said O'Brien spent an inordinate amount of time in the municipal center, disturbing employees and accessing township resources for personal use.
Commissioners in January denied O'Brien's request for an office, citing a March 2013 board vote that eliminated the tax collector's office.
His office is in a building in Evergreen Park, on Evergreen Road. O'Brien was a commissioner for 13 years.
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police investigating after cab driver shot in Hazelwood
- Security policies limit ‘insider threat’ at airports, TSA says
- Pet chiropractic more popular in Western Pa., but doubts linger
- Pittsburgh police chief finds use-of-force policies ‘quite satisfactory’
- SWAT incident in Ross ends peacefully
- Attorney wants evidence from South Allegheny teacher’s cellphone thrown out
- Buffalo man killed by truck in the West End Circle wanted ‘a fresh start’
- Police find marijuana grow rooms in Castle Shannon
- Maryland man found with missing Ohio girl in Pittsburgh motel
- Suspect in Glassport man’s shooting death put on house arrest
- Pittsburgh on cusp of leaving fiscal oversight