The city of Willoughby Hills filed a temporary restraining order against Mayor Robert Weger on Friday in an attempt to keep the mayor from "any further attempts to interfere with the lawful operations of Willoughby Hills City Council and Government."
Earlier this week, Weger removed six council members from their positions, citing “gross misconduct, malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance in office.”
RELATED: Willoughby Hills mayor removes six members from city council
The city released the following statement:
"It is the official position of the City of Willoughby Hills, as stated in its complaint against Mayor Weger, that his attempted removal and replacement of Council is illegal, unlawful, and null and void, ab initio:
“'Allowing Weger to oust elected officials contrary to law and without due process is fundamentally inconsistent with the democratic process, and designed to create a government run through a dictatorship rather than through the proper legislative, executive and judicial process.'”
The statement from the city also said that after Weger removed the council members from their positions, he had the locks changed on City Hall and locked the clerk out of her office.
The following council members were removed from office: Council President Nancy Fellows, David Fiebig, Laura Lenz, Janet Majka, Laura Pizmoht and John Plecnik. The only council member who was not removed was Christopher Hallum.
Weger said he knew that removing six council members may have been viewed as extreme, but it was something he saw as necessary.
The mayor released the following statement earlier this week:
“This may be a drastic action, but the behavior of these six council members requires I take action in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and business in Willoughby Hills. In the past year, these council members have adopted at least 11 ordinances which are contrary to law, five of which have been declared void and illegal by a common pleas judge. Two others have been found to be probable violations of the collective bargaining law by the State Employment Relations Board and unfair labor practices against city employees which will cost our taxpayers dearly.”
According to Weger, this past year the council failed to appoint a new law director and by doing so caused the closure of the mayor’s court and reduced the administrative budget. The budget loss, in turn, resulted in the reduction of nearly 90 percent of the administrative staff, the mayor said.
Councilwoman Laura Pizmoht told News 5 the ousted council members plan to fight for their jobs.