LFC Comments by Brian Massie, Director –
We previously wrote an article about Willoughby Hills Councilwoman Nancy Fellows, and her troubles with Willoughby Hills elected officials. We are so glad to read that justice has been served, and Ms. Fellows has been totally exonerated.
COUNCILWOMAN FELLOWS EXONERATED!
Frivolous lawsuit dismissed; Court Rules “Fellows Did Not Engage in Misfeasance or Malfeasance”
On Monday, September 7, 2021, the Lake County Probate Court dismissed the frivolous lawsuit of Miller v. Fellows (20 CV 1075 MILLER, TONY LEE et al vs. FELLOWS, NANCY MJB) which asked for the removal of Willoughby Hills Councilwoman Nancy Fellows and held that “Fellows Did Not Engage in Misfeasance or Malfeasance by Voting on Ordinances as a Councilmember”.
Judge Thomas A. Swift, sitting by assignment, granted the motion for summary judgement filed by Gregory A. Beck, Esq. of Baker, Dublikar on behalf Councilwoman Fellows and “ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that judgement be entered in favor of Defendant-Respondent Nancy Fellows and against Petitioners on all claims in this complaint.” Judge Swift further ordered the five Petitioners—Tony Lee Miller, Vicki Lorraine Miller, Jeffrey Fruscella, Stephen Crone and Jack E. Hay—to pay all court costs for their frivolous lawsuit.
In his opinion, Judge Swift noted that 17 of the 18 failed claims in the case of Miller v. Fellows were “identical” to claims filed by the same five Petitioners in the case of Fruscella v. Pizmoht against Fellows and five other Council Members, which the Probate Court dismissed in 2019 with all court costs to the Petitioners.
The Judge also noted that both cases were based on allegations by then-Willoughby Hills Mayor Robert Weger, who infamously attempted to illegally fire 6 out of 7 elected Council Members and appoint their replacements prior to the issuance of a restraining order against him by the Lake County Court of Common Pleas.
After the City of Willoughby Hills was granted its motion for a Temporary Restraining Order or TRO against its own Mayor, Mr. Weger voluntarily agreed he would never attempt to fire the Council again in a court-approved settlement. It is important to note that Mr. Weger is the same Mayor who made headlines for illegally appointing himself Fire Chief and signing an agreement without Zoning approval to build a cell tower on graveyard property by the historic Maplegrove Grange.
“I am very thankful for the Judge’s ruling today, because it sets the record straight once and for all.” said Councilwoman Fellows. “My colleagues and I on Willoughby Hills Council did nothing wrong and the Court’s ruling reflects that fact. We voted to balance the budget, but the Mayor and some of his friends disagreed with the hard choices we made for the good of our community. Instead of good faith debate, the Mayor’s political allies Tony and Vicky Miller, Jeffrey Fruscella, Stephen Crone and Jack Hay chose to personally attack us for their own political gain, and our families suffered greatly. After years of political harassment, the Judge saw through their nonsense and bad faith allegations to do justice.”
Two of the five petitioners who filed Miller v. Fellows are Named Plaintiff Tony Miller and his wife Vicky Miller, who is a local politician and candidate for Willoughby Hills Council. “Now that her frivolous lawsuit has been dismissed by the Judge on not one, but five legal grounds, Mrs. Vicky Miller should apologize for the great pain she caused to our families, withdraw from her outrageous political bid for Council, and help pay the thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees that her crazy lawsuit cost our City,” said fmr. Councilwoman and current Lakeland Community College Trustee Janet Majka. “Mr. and Mrs. Miller owe all of Willoughby Hills an apology, but they owe a special apology to the city officials and families they harassed for years.”
As Willoughby Hills Council President, Fellows led the first woman majority on any City Council in the history of Lake County and was presented the Annual Woman of Achievement Award by the Women’s Center at Lakeland Community College.
“It was an honor to serve under Councilwoman Nancy Fellows as her Vice President,” said fmr. Willoughby Hills Councilman and Lake County Commissioner John Plecnik. “Together with Councilwoman Laura Lenz, Councilwoman Janet Majka and Councilwoman Laura Pizmoht, we balanced the budget for the first time in years, reduced the City debt by half, cut sewer fees twice, supported our Police and Fire with their first staffing increase in 28 years and a new Police Substation, and brought hundreds of good-paying jobs to Willoughby Hills by recruiting major businesses like Hospice of the Western Reserve and Produce Packaging. That is Nancy’s legacy and her neighbors in Willoughby Hills love her for it.”
Councilwoman Nancy E. Fellows can be contacted by calling 216-299-2330.