County Probate Judge Mark Costine has dismissed a case in which two Bridgeport councilmen were temporarily suspended. Dave Smith and Ben Lenz will be starting the New Year back in office.
Costine ruled that since Dave Smith and Ben Lenz were re-elected to their positions on village council beginning January 1, the old case should be dismissed.
A lawsuit was filed against Smith and Lenz alleging the two voted on issues that affected them financially because they were paid EMT's with the fire department.
The legal battle involving two Bridgeport councilmen who allegedly voted on issues that they had a personal stake in was back in court on Tuesday, but nothing was decided, except that there are more delays.
Councilmen Dave Smith and Ben Lenz still can't go to council meetings and take part in the action, after they were suspended in August by a Probate Judge while the case is pending. On Tuesday, they had a pre-trial conference, but it was held behind closed doors. Afterward, Prosecutor Dan Fry said everything is still on hold.
A group of citizens including family and friends of Mayor John Callarik brought the issue to court. They claim that Smith and Lenz took some self-serving actions such as voting to hire themselves as EMTs. But now it's all on hold, while the Ohio Ethics Commission continues to investigate.