Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Tuesday, May 30

Ohio House 90th: Collier (R) Sued for Libel by Founder of Ohio Taxpayers Association

As reported in the Mount Vernon News here, Mount Vernon attorney Scott A. Pullins, the founder and head of the Ohio Taxpayers Association, has filed a $1 million libel lawsuit against State Rep. Thomas Collier (R-Mount Vernon), based on Collier's statement in a May 21 news report in the Canton Repository that Pullins is "a scoundrel, liar and cheat."

The Repository story chiefly concerned the employment of Pullins by the city of Canal Fulton at $200 per hour plus expenses to advise it on dealings with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, which desires to establish a casino in Stark County. The story recounts that Pullins founded the Ohio Taxpayers Association in 2001 after breaking with the National Taxpayers Union. After a long career as a lobbyist, he earned his law degree from Capital University three years ago. He is the law director for the village of Brinkhaven on the Holmes-Knox county line, and a member of the Federalist Society.

Pullins was associated with Larry Householder when the latter was speaker of the Ohio House. The animosity between Pullins and Collier goes back to 2000, when Pullins and Collier each sought appointment to the same vacant seat in the Ohio House. Pullins attacked Collier at that time for allegedly owing back taxes and writing bad checks. Pullins now contends that the appointment process was flawed and a special election should have been held. That animosity led to these quotes in the Repository:
“Householder had him as puppet,” Collier said. “This guy’s in trouble every week. He attacked me in the newspaper. He sent information to members (of the Legislature) to try to keep the appointment from taking place. He helped my Democratic opponent. He helps who pays him. He proved himself for who he is. He’s a scoundrel, liar and cheat.”

“He can call me those names,” Pullins said, “but I’ve never cheated anyone or anything. He has.”
The libel case against Collier is not Pullins' only foray into litigation:
In February, Pullins forced the removal of Knox County’s only common pleas judge from a case involving a company suing Pullins and his wife over a disputed $6,950 home-repair bill. Pullins countersued for $431,000 and the company, Complete Comfort System, then sued Pullins for libel.

Pullins and his wife also are engaged in litigation against their neighborhood association, and claim Attorney General Petro succumbed to pressure from campaign contributors to drop an investigation of the association.

Mark Anthony, a spokesman for Petro, said no investigation was ever launched and Pulllins “remains seriously confused. We don’t have jurisdiction. He’s obviously trying to draw other people into this personal beef.”
In his libel complaint, Pullins calls Collier's statements “patently false” and made with malice and in an attempt to harm his reputation. He alleges that Collier’s comments caused him “physical and mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment and great loss of reputation.” He also alleges lost earnings and requests $1 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees and costs.

Seeking to unseat Collier in the November general election is dairy farmer and entrepreneur Duane Grassbaugh (D-Howard), who also ran against Collier in 2004.


At 6:11 PM, Blogger redhorse said...

Well, that was an entertaining story. The more I hear/learn about Pullins, the more he seems a tad egocentric.

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Yellow Dog Sammy said...

Yes, and I even left out the part where prominent Republicans suggest that Pullins has abused his position with the organization (Ohioans for Tax Relief, or whatever) by steering consulting business to his wife.

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a nonstory. Pullins is nuts. No one can take him seriously.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger geneparmesan said...

Scott Pullins is a complete loose cannon. He has some serious issues. Here is another posting i saw about this subject. http://www.centralohiopolitics.com/

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