DAYTON — Greene County Commissioners have filed answers to claims made in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against the board and other parties in the county, denying claims that it played a role in terminating a former Greene County Combined Health District employee.
Aloysius Onuoha filed the lawsuit in Dayton’s U.S. District Court in February against the Greene County Board of Commissioners, the health district, Health Commissioner Melissa Howell, as well as several John Does, according to court documents.
In the lawsuit, Onuoha alleges that between 2013 and 2014 he was harassed and berated on the job by Howell and that he was terminated in retaliation to discrimination allegations he made against Howell and district, as well as because of his age (Onuoha was over 40 when he was terminated). Howell and the district have previously denied these claims in their own response to the lawsuit. Additionally, Onuoha’s lawsuit alleges that commissioners approved of his termination from the health district, among other claims.
In the response filed by their legal counsel, commissioners denied the body of complaints leveled against them.
“Defendant denies that the Greene County Board of Commissioners played any role in the termination of Plaintiff’s employment as Plaintiff was not an employee of the Greene County Board of Commissioners,” one of the board’s responses, filed Friday, stated. “The Greene County Board of Commissioners has no authority over Co-Defendants Howell or the Greene County Combined Health District’s employment decisions. Defendant further denies that it approved of Plaintiff’s termination in any way.”
In his initial complaint, Onuoha asked that he be awarded compensatory and punitive damages, as well as back pay and other relief. The lawsuit was filed in federal court because of the civil rights nature of the accusations, as well as the amount in controversy exceeding $75,000.
In their response, commissioners requested the complaint be dismissed.