From The Plain Dealer
South Euclid Law Director Michael Lograsso is suing three people for defamation, one for publicly attempting to tie Lograsso to several businesses that were delinquent on taxes and two others for publicizing those claims.
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams ruled in favor of the defendants in July, and Lograsso has appealed. He originally filed the suit against South Euclid resident Robert Frey and Fairview Park residents David Furry and Emilie DiFranco in December 2012.
Lograsso accuses the defendants of defamation and publicly placing a person in false light and has asked for more than $25,000 in punitive damages, as well as a public apology to correct all of the statements.
An oral argument is scheduled for April 10 in the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals.
“With the right to freedom of speech under the first amendment comes responsibility,” Lograsso’s attorney Joe Medici told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “If someone stands up at a public meeting and lies with the purpose of hurting a public official and preventing him from being reappointed, that is blatantly wrong, and it’s fair to file a civil suit to hold a person like that accountable.”
The dispute began in October 2012, according to Lograsso’s original complaint, when DiFranco filed a grievance with the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio requesting review of Lograsso’s ability to serve as law director.