Former deputy director sues Board of Elections

Morgan claims defamation, violation of meetings law

By Melanie Yingst -

MIAMI COUNTY — Eric Morgan, former deputy director of the Miami County Board of Elections, filed a lawsuit in Miami County Common Pleas Court seeking financial compensation and to have his position restored.

The civil suit was filed on Thursday against the Miami County Board of Elections and former Democratic board member Dean Tamplin.

Morgan is a Democrat and was employed with the office from March 26, 2013, until he was terminated by the board by a 3-0 vote on Jan. 24, 2017, after he refused to resign.

Morgan’s suit claims the board violated Ohio’s Open Meetings Act and alleges defamation against him. He is seeking compensation for damages in excess of $25,000 against the board.

Morgan claims Tamplin asked him to support his appointment to another term on the board around Jan. 10, 2017, which Morgan alleged he refused to do. The suit claims that board of elections members Jose Lopez, Tamplin and Ryan King called a special meeting to discuss “personnel” and went into executive session without voting to do so on or around Jan. 24.

The suit alleges “Tamplin made statements to the press and other members of the Board that the Democratic Party ‘lost confidence’ in Morgan and that was the reason for his termination.” The suit also alleges the board discussed and deliberated “on matters relating to the Eric Morgan’s actions and employment during one or more of its executive sessions and prior to reopening the meeting to the public and at the undisclosed meeting.”

Morgan claims he suffered damages from the violations of the Open Meetings Act and seeks compensatory damages.The suit also alleges the board’s violation makes his termination invalid and he should be reinstated as deputy director and provided back pay from his termination date.

Ryan King is the only member still serving on the board. He is a Republican. Tamplin, a Democrat, and Lopez, a Republican, left at the end of their terms on the board last spring.

Calls to Tamplin for comment were not returned as of press time. Current Deputy Director Bev Kendall declined to comment.

On Dec. 18, the board held a special meeting in executive session to discuss possible litigation. No action was taken from this meeting once the board returned from executive session.

Morgan claims defamation, violation of meetings law

By Melanie Yingst

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews