Following a narrow race for a Lorain City Ward 2 council chair last May,
controversy has erupted over vote totals and resulted in an election complaint
filed against Anthony Horn, father of one of the candidates. Now, in response,
Attorney Ian Friedman has drafted and filed a defamation suit against
Councilman Dennis Flores, who has claimed that Horn fixed the election
to favor his son, Flores’ opponent.
The Morning Journal reports, Councilman Flores and his attorney, Gerald Phillips, allege in the election
complaint that Anthony Horn used his bail bonds business and rental properties
to buy votes for his son, Ryan Horn, Flores' opponent. Final vote
counts for the council seat put Horn ahead by Flores by a single vote.
Anthony Horn and Attorney Friedman, however, believe that election complaint
has been filed out of malice and not over actual concerns for the integrity
of the election. "These false and defamatory statements set forth
above were negligently made by Flores and/or were maliciously and intentionally
made by Flores with complete and utter disregard for their truthfulness,"
Friedman wrote in the suit, "and with the intent to harm the person
reputation of (Horn) in the community at large."
Uncertain Future of the Election Complaint
Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Betleski is reviewing the election complaint
against Horn and is expected to decide whether or not to move forward
with it by September 1. Phillips, Flores' attorney, has already told
the press that the defamation suit is "frivolous" and is pleased
that it now gives him access to Horn's bail bond business records.
Attorney Friedman and Horn, however, maintain that that the Ward 2 election
allegations are false and that they have damaged Horn's reputation
as a business owner and member of the community. Accordingly, the suit
is asking for $25,000 in damages.
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