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Judge rules in favor of Commissioners

By Carol McIntire

Judge Linton D. Lewis has ruled Carroll County Commissioners can own Atwood Lake Resort and Golf Club, lease the property and provide money for construction and improvements to the property.

In a judgment entry filed in Carroll County Common Pleas Court Friday, Judge Lewis ruled in favor of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), Radius Hospitality and county commissioners in a lawsuit filed by Don and Robin Warner on behalf of investors of the Days Inn and taxpayers of the state of Ohio.

Warners asked Judge Lewis to declare Ohio Revised Code (ORC) does not permit Carroll County Commissioners to provide, own, operate or lease a hotel and that a hotel is not an “other necessary building” under the statute. They also asked the judge to rule the commissioners’ contract with Radius Hospitality to operate the facility is an unconstitutional effort to raise money to aid Radius and that the contract is unconstitutional.

In the entry, Judge Lewis said Ohio Revised Code provides power to county commissioners in addition to its other powers that gives county commissioners (a political subdivision) the authority to acquire and lease property for commerce and provide money for construction and improvements.

On count two of the complaint filed by the Warners on behalf of Ohio taxpayers in Sept. 2012, which alleges county commissioners violated the Ohio Taxpayers statue by misapplying (spending) county funds at Atwood, Judge Lewis granted the Warners 60 days to conduct discovery and file a response to the MWCD’s motion for summary judgment on or before Feb. 5. All responses must be filed by Feb. 12.

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