Richmond Heights Mayor Miesha Headen will face a recall election on September 23. In this week's print edition, look for our exclusive interview with Mayor Headen, in which she discusses her tumultuous nine months in office and her optimism for the future.
The latest news out of Richmond Heights is that Headen's former special assistant Brandye Mells has filed a defamation suit
against her. Mells was terminated in June after a NEOMG investigation revealed lingering legal troubles in Lucas County. Those troubles were brought to light after Headen told the NEOMG that Mells had used a city vehicle for four days in May.
Mells now alleges that Headen was using the vehicle herself during that time (May 8-12) — her Honda Odyssey was alleged to have been in the shop — and that Headen logged onto Mells' work computer and forged an email to Sara Dorn. In the email, Headen (as Mells) is alleged to have admitted using the vehicle and saying she had reimbursed the city at a cost of $4.00 per mile.
We brought up the current suit in our on-one-on at the Mayor's Richmond Heights home on Friday:
"I have been advised by counsel that I cannot comment on an active lawsuit," she said. "I will, however, say that I intend to mount a vigorous defense to what I know to be untruths."
Headen wrote in a statement last week that the "baseless" lawsuit, along with the "malicious atmosphere" of the recall campaign in general had caused "extraordinary" suffering to her and her family.
"My sympathy goes out to Brandye Mells and her family as she was likely pressured by political bullies to file this suspiciously timed and highly suspect lawsuit," Headen wrote.
Mells' lawyer Jarret Northup told
Sara Dorn at the NEOMG that neither he nor Mells had had contact with the committee to recall the mayor and that he would've filed the suit much sooner if he hadn't been delayed by another project.