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EAST LIVERPOOL Ex-schools chief seeks to join suit against board

Friday, November 15, 2002

The one-time schools chief is seeking more than $2 million in damages and compensation.
LISBON -- The former East Liverpool schools superintendent is asking a judge to name him as a second plaintiff in a lawsuit suing the East Liverpool school board.
Don Lowe of 1215 Parshall Road, Wellsville, filed a motion in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court seeking to join a suit filed in June by Richard Wolf, a school board member.
Wolf is suing his fellow board members, claiming they held several meeting that violated Ohio's open meetings act, which requires proper notification of meetings held by a public body.
At one of those meetings, held Feb. 27 without Wolf present, the school board voted not to renew Lowe's contract, Wolf's lawsuit maintains.
Maureen Aronoff, school board president, was unavailable to comment Thursday on Lowe's motion.
If the court approves his motion, Lowe said he will, like Wolf, claim the school board violated Ohio's open meetings act at the Feb. 27 meeting.
Issue of emotional distress
Lowe also said he will claim that the school board purposefully inflicted emotional distress on him.
They did so, Lowe's motion alleges, by passing a resolution June 17 that placed on him working conditions that included assigning him to his inner office only, requiring him to maintain an hourly log of his work activities and placing an armed security guard outside his office.
Lowe's motion called the board's action "extreme and outrageous."
If allowed to join Wolf's lawsuit, Lowe also said he will argue that the board's actions violated his civil rights. Lowe's motion said he will seek nearly $2.1 million in compensation and damages.
Wolf's lawsuit asks the court to declare invalid any school board actions stemming from illegal meetings and to pay the cost of his attorney fees.
Lowe left the district in July after his contract expired.
He has since been replaced by former Canfield Schools Superintendent Douglas Hiscox.