WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A federal lawsuit against Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko and the Trumbull County Board of Commissioners has been dismissed.
In December 2021, Christine Glenn, a secretary for the board of Trumbull County Commissioners filed a complaint against Frenchko and the commissioners, alleging age and ancestry discrimination in violation of the American Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Glenn said she and others in the office were targeted by Frenchko when she took office and that she would “badger the old ones ’til they quit,” in an effort to get someone younger who knows technology, the lawsuit stated.
Glenn also alleged that Frenchko made defamatory statements about her Italian heritage.
The lawsuit claimed age and ethnic discrimination.
Frenchko and the board denied all claims and said the case should be dismissed not only because they say it’s not true but because Glenn didn’t file the case properly using the correct laws, saying that age discrimination is not a “cognizable claim” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Glenn should have instead brought the claim under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA), according to court documents.
They also said that Frenchko would be an improper party named because neither Title VII nor the ADEA imposes individual liability on supervisors or managers and that her discrimination claim was not brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a remedy before the lawsuit was filed.
Glenn later filed a motion to amend her complaint using the correct avenues and dismissing Frenchko as a party and the ethnic discrimination charge altogether but would add a new Ohio state law age discrimination claim.
In the end, the court said to move the case forward would be futile because Glenn suffered no loss of income due to age discrimination as she remained employed by the commissioner’s office and received pay.
“There is no claim that she was suspended, demoted, passed up for promotion or otherwise lost time at her job… there is no plausible connection between Defendants actions or inactions and/or Plaintiff’s [Glenn’s] claim of lost income,” according to the ruling.
The ruling went on to say that without the facts supporting injury that can be paid under ADEA, the amended complaint by Glenn has no claim that can be granted.
The case was dismissed.
Frenchko said Tuesday she didn’t want to speak to details of the lawsuit but said she was relieved.
“I prefer not to make a public comment about it. I mean, I am definitely relieved and I can say that the record and the history speak for itself,” she said.
Glenn handed commissioners a letter dated December 12, 2022, announcing her intention to retire effective February 1, 2023.
“I am retiring due to health reasons. The stress I have been under during the past two years has taken its toll and I am no longer willing to put Trumbull County first over my health,” Glenn wrote.