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Discrimination lawsuit filed against Frenchko, other commissioners

YOUNGSTOWN — An administrative secretary in the office of Trumbull County commissioners has filed a federal lawsuit against Commissioner Niki Frenchko and her other bosses on the board, citing age and ethnic discrimination.

Christine Glenn cites physical and emotional damages as a result of Frenchko’s alleged defamatory and offensive statements about people of Italian descent, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. Northern Ohio District Court on Thursday.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $25,000 as well as punitive damages plus costs and demands a jury trial. It singles out Michelle Nicole Frenchko “and” Trumbull County commissioners.

Glenn is a Niles resident.

The board of commissioner’s liason in the prosecutor’s office, Bill Danso, said he is not aware of this specific lawsuit.

Usually in these actions against commissioners, Danso said he will review the documents and see if it can be forwarded to the commissioners’ insurance company.

Danso had no further comment.

U.S. Judge John Adams and Magistrate Amanda Knapp are assigned the case, but no hearings have yet been scheduled.

The document, filed by attorney Dennis Fogarty of Willoughby Hills, alleges that ever since Frenchko took office as commissioner on Jan. 4, 2021, she had a list of employees she wanted to remove from their positions, including Glenn, who is of Italian decent.

The suit claims Frenchko made statements about the plaintiff specifically saying “we need to get someone younger in that position who knows technology.”

Despite never being told of any new duties, however, the lawsuit claims Glenn was berated and harassed by Frenchko for not making changes and not syncing her email to her phone — even after being informed by county IT personnel multiple times it would not be possible.

Also because of her high risk for COVID-19, Glenn was moved to another building to accommodate her health.

The lawsuit, however, alleges despite serious health risks, Frenchko tried to move her to where she would be working in close proximity with other people.

The plaintiff is of Italian descent, the lawsuit states, and was subjected to defamatory and derogatory statements made about Italian people by Frenchko.

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