Ohio Citizen Action, Maple Heights neighbor Carl Gaglione settle yard sign lawsuit with City of Maple Heights

CLEVELAND — Ohio Citizen Action and Maple Heights resident Carl Gaglione settled their First Amendment yard sign lawsuit with the City of Maple Heights on January 7. The suit was assigned to federal Judge Dan Pollster. Under the settlement, the city will not interfere with future lawfully-placed yard signs. The financial terms of the settlement were confidential, and the city did not admit to wrongdoing.

Citizen Action and Gaglione filed the lawsuit on October 8, 2010 for violation of their First Amendment rights. As part of their campaign to get Kokosing Asphalt to reduce pollution at its plant north of Granger and south of I-480 on the Maple Heights/Garfield Heights border, Maple Heights neighbors and Citizen Action put up 200 orange and black “Kokosing Asphalt: Clean It Up” yard signs in neighborhoods around the facility. According to the lawsuit, Maple Heights Mayor Jeff Lansky had ordered Maple Heights Assistant Service Director Ken Selva to remove one of the signs displayed in front of a Maple Heights business on Broadway Avenue in August after Gaglione had gotten permission to put the sign up on two different occasions. The suit also sought back-payments for sick leave which Gaglione, a leader of the neighbors working to clean up pollution from the plant, said he had been denied as a city employee.

Stephen Gabor, Cleveland Area Campaign Director, Ohio Citizen Action