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Health Department to offer recommendations for reopening courthouse

At some point, the Monroe County Commissioners will have to scale back limitations on access to the Monroe County Courthouse.

The commissioners consulted Monroe County Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon on the best way to do that during their regular meeting Monday, May 18.

For her part, Selmon felt it will become difficult to justify the limitations as more businesses reopen as part of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s Responsible Restart Ohio program.

“I have a hard time keeping it (the Monroe County Courthouse closed) if malls are open,” Selmon said.

Monroe County Recorder Ann Block opened her office to land professionals by appointment Tuesday, May 12. However, other county offices continued to remain closed to visitors.

Selmon felt a potential reopening will not impact her office or some other county offices.

“I think that Ann (Block), more than anybody, has more traffic,” Selmon said. “Other offices usually don’t have a line.”

Selmon recommended contacting the Monroe County Health Department to get their views on the matter.

She felt courthouse security might need to take temperatures and make sure visitors have reasonable business before permitting access to the courthouse.

Commissioner Carl Davis spoke with Monroe County Sheriff Charles Black as whatever steps the commissioners take toward reopening; it will be up to his deputies to implement any recommendations.

According to Davis, Black informed him that he would add another deputy to courthouse security when the limitations at the courthouse are removed.

The commissioners contacted the Monroe County Health Department after their conversation with Selmon.

Administrator Linda Masters told the commissioners she would work with Health Commissioner Linda Dick and Robin Groves, emergency preparedness, to come up with recommendations for the reopening of the courthouse.

Masters planned to have something for the commissioners by the end of the week, which would allow them to resume the discussion during their next meeting Tuesday, May 26.

Also during their May 18 meeting, the commissioners agreed to a contract with Karena Reusser to serve as co-counsel for representation and to work under the direction of Monroe County Prose cuting Attorney James L. Peters to assert a claim for damages against Eleanor Alvarez and LeaderStat.

The lawsuit was filed on March 10 in Monroe County Common Pleas Court. In the claim, the commissioners allege they sustained financial losses due to the management of the Monroe County Care Center by LeaderStat from approximately January of 2016 to April of 2018.

The commissioners are seeking in excess of $100,000 in damages.

In the contract, Reusser will receive 10 percent of the gross amount recovered or judgment following the trial and any appeal taken by Alvarez or LeaderStat.