A Cuyahoga County judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Cleveland Heights resident that sought to compel the Cleveland Heights City Council to appoint a seventh member, following the resignation of Melissa Yasinow

Yasinow relocated to Chagrin Falls in March 2020 and submitted her resignation then.

Judge Deborah M. Turner made the decision to dismiss Garry Kanter’s complaint and assess him court costs in a March 5 ruling in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Immediately following the decision, Cleveland Heights Mayor Jason Stein said city council would discuss the process for filling the vacant seat.

The council received 19 applications and designated four finalists: Craig Cobb, Tony Cuda, Robert Koonce and Anthony Maddox.

Cobb was appointed to the vacancy March 15.

Councilman Michael N. Ungar has told the Cleveland Jewish News council has not been able to come to an agreement regarding the vacancy.

Kanter, representing himself in court, filed a Jan. 8 complaint seeking a writ of mandamus.

Alix Noureddine, Cleveland Heights assistant law director, filed a Feb. 16 motion to dismiss the complaint. In it, he said there is no legal deadline for filling a vacancy on council. In addition, Noureddine identified a “procedural defect,” in that Kanter failed to verify the complaint by affidavit providing an “independent basis” to dismiss the case.

In his Feb. 22 opposition to that motion, Kanter requested additional time to file an amended complaint.

Turner dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.

Mary Trupo, director of communications and public engagement for the city of Cleveland Heights, said the city had no comment.

“The city is not prepared to respond at this time,” she wrote in a March 12 email to the CJN.

Still pending, Kanter has challenged the city of Cleveland Heights and city council about its use of executive session in a separate complaint filed Feb. 14, regarding an executive session held following a discussion of appointments to the city’s racial justice task force.

How do you feel about this article?

Choose from the options below.


Recommended for you