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Attorney Matt Miller Novak, left, of Cincinnati, Trumbull County Commissioner Nikki Frenchko and Attorney David Petras held a press conference Monday afternoon at Petras’ law office in Canfield to discuss the federal lawsuit they filed against Trumbull County Chief Paul Monroe, Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa, former county commissioner Frank Foda and others.

WARREN — Trumbull County Commissioner Nikki Frenchko and her attorneys made it official Monday: They have filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Paul Monroe, County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa, former county commissioner Frank Fuda and others over her July 7 arrest during a meeting of the county commissioners.

The suit also includes the names of members of the county board of commissioners, the county sheriff’s office and deputy sergeants Robert Ross and Harold Weeks, who arrested Frenchko as defendants. The suit was filed in US District Court and assigned to Judge J. Philip Calabrese in Cleveland.

The suit alleges that Frenchko’s arrest on a fourth-degree misdemeanor disrupted a public meeting at which A.J “Cruel false arrest intended to punish a political opponent for criticizing a county sheriff in violation of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”

The visiting judge later dismissed the charge at the request of the special prosecutor.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys David Petras of Canfield and Matt Miller Novak of Cincinnati, who held a news conference at Petras’ offices in Canfield on Monday.

The suit seeks financial damages against the defendants. It is also seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent the defendants from doing so “Continuing to destroy records and unlawfully seize (Frenchico’s) property to interfere with her right to record meetings,” document states.

A TRO hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Petras said the aim of the lawsuit is “Rein in the unconstitutional actions of the county commissioner and Paul Monroe, a message that you can’t jail your political opponent for exercising free speech.”

Reading from the prepared notes at the press conference, Petras said, Sheriff Monroe may have police power, but this is not a police state.

The lawsuit states that it began on June 1 with Frinko reading a letter at a meeting of commissioners “From a person who considered himself the mother of a man formerly incarcerated at the Trumbull County Jail.” The letter alleged that the inmate had not received proper medical care.

The next day, Monroe writes a letter chastising Frenchko for reading the letter during a public meeting. Monroe said he investigated the allegations and did not agree with Frenchko’s statements. His letter demanded a public apology.

On the day of Frenchko’s arrest, the clerk of the commissioners read Monroe’s letter. The lawsuit alleges that as soon as Frenchko began responding to the letter, The accused began exchanging text messages. Indeed, upon information and belief, the defendant’s deputies and the accused commissioners have been communicating with Sheriff Monroe.” claim the suit.

Eventually, Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa tells her that she has begun to disrupt the meeting. Then the two deputies ordered Frenchko to stand up, and Wicks She aggressively grabbed the chair she was sitting on for no apparent necessary reason. The suit states. She is then escorted out of the meeting and arrested.

Frenchko claimed that the arrest was A.J “Prove.”

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants by their behavior that day “They abused Commissioner Frenchko, they insulted her, they tied her up, they caused her emotional suffering.”

Not only does the lawsuit allege that there were violations of Frenchko’s civil rights that day, but it also argues that the charge against her was an unfair law.

“Essentially this law gives the government absolute discretion to arrest anyone for any comment made during a public meeting because it makes the government angry.” The suit states.

Attempts to reach the defendants were unsuccessful, except for Fouda. When told of allegations that Kanalisa and Monroe had texted each other during the lead-up to the arrest, he said he rarely spoke to Monroe.

“He did everything on his own.” Fouda said.

Fouda added that on the same day, he received a call before the meeting that his wife would need to be taken to the hospital.

“I just wanted to end this meeting and go to the hospital. That’s what I did,” He said.

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