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Editorial: A disturbing lawsuit

Published: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 10:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 1:53 p.m. CST

In early July, Tom Leverso, former attorney for Avon Township, sued it for money he said he was owed. It appears the township will now pay him, saying it wasn’t aware it had the debt – something Leverso disputes.

The case reveals some things that should be of interest to Avon Township residents. For starters, Leverso, who was attorney for just two months last year, spent a third of his time as township attorney fighting off legitimate public records requests, according to his invoice. In one case, on his advice, the township warned a man he could face the criminal charge of impersonating an attorney, apparently because he wrote his request for information in the form of questions.

Leverso also waged a battle to keep Avon documents surrounding the publication of a newsletter from a resident asking to see them.

Leverso’s lawsuit is particularly disturbing. Not because he sought repayment of a debt; that’s understandable. Rather, what’s concerning is his focus on another attorney, Ed Mullen, whom he claims – without proof – somehow influenced the township to not pay Leverso.

In the lawsuit, Leverso also brings up Mullen’s history, including a bankruptcy and a disorderly conduct charge in Ohio. Most absurd, though, is his focus on Mullen’s Facebook postings in support of same-sex marriage, saying the attorney wanted to advance “his own ultra-left-wing LGBT agenda.” He then includes an exhibit of five pages of these posts, which have nothing to do with the lawsuit.

This lawsuit looks more like a way to discredit Mullen than an honest attempt to seek payment of a debt. As it happens, the township board pressured Leverso to resign after only two months. His meandering lawsuit helps us understand why.

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