A developer and a Sycamore Township trustee are trading accusations of bribery and forgery in separate lawsuits.
Morelia Group CEO Christopher Hildebrant sued Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Weidman in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court earlier this month.
He accuses Weidman of soliciting bribes for proposed land deals in Sycamore Township’s Kenwood area between 2009 and 2012, the lawsuit shows.
This comes after Weidman sued Hildebrant for defamation in February in Warren County Common Pleas Court. Weidman’s lawsuit alleges Hildebrant created a “fake email” to make it look like Weidman solicited a bribe.
Weidman’s lawsuit says the bribery accusation is “a vicious lie.”
“When Mr Hildebrant refused to pay the bribes that Weidman demanded, Weidman exacted revenge over a period of many years by using his power as a Township Trustee to prevent Mr Hildebrant from conducting any real estate development business in Sycamore Township,” the Morelia lawsuit reads.
“Weidman’s retaliation peaked in 2019 when he prevented Plaintiff Morelia Group, which is operated by Mr. Hildebrant, from purchasing property owned by Sycamore Township for a planned commercial development project.”
Weidman says in his lawsuit he opposed the development because the two other township trustees, Tom James and Jim LaBarbara, wanted to sell the $10 million property to Hildebrant below the appraised value.
“Weidman believes that James, LaBarbara and Hildebrant are each working to remove Weidman from office to eliminate Weidman’s objections to the sale,” his lawsuit states. “He accused LaBarbara and James of spreading the false information, which caused “people to question Weidman’s reputation, thus bringing him into hatred, contempt, ridicule, shame and disgrace.”
The original full article can be found at fox19.com