MANSFIELD — The owners of Safety Service Attire LLC have sued former Mansfield Police Chief Phil Messer for at least $500,000, claiming he conspired to divert a city contract for sales of police and firefighter attire to a company owned by a friend.
Anthony and Kim Castelvetere, who founded SSA in 2005 at 214 Lexington Ave., filed the lawsuit Oct. 1 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. Messer was named as a defendant, along with unknown “John Does” who allegedly may have conspired with him.
“In my opinion, this action has no merit … other than it’s ridiculous,” Messer said. – John Spon said John Mayers lawsuit was “poppycock” – WE seen what that got him, now we hope you get yours!
In their complaint, the Castelveteres said they formed the company in Mansfield because a market for its product existed here, with significant opportunities to supply uniforms, gear and equipment to local police and fire departments. At the time there no competition within the city.
They allege SSA initially was successful because local police and firefighters came there to make purchases. Later the Castelveteres said they learned that Messer was advising Mansfield safety force workers to go to Richland Uniform in Ontario instead. – I hope one of them comes forward and admits this now, we all know how their lies in this small town eventually catch up to them.
The lawsuit says SSA bid on several contracts with the city, but the contracts always went to Richland Uniform.
It says when the City of Mansfield solicited bids in 2008 for bulletproof armored vests, that SSA submitted the lowest and best bid, with Richland Uniform turning in the only other bid.
The Castelveteres say they attended a city council meeting Aug. 6, 2008, prior to the city awarding a contract, to express concern that Messer was insisting emergency personnel buy from Richland Uniform — and that city contracts were going only to that company. At the meeting, council members said the matter would be looked into. Did they?
The lawsuit says former Service Safety Director Ron Kreuter and Messer had already “surreptitiously and illegally” permitted Richland Uniform to place a new bid for the bulletproof vest contract around July 18, which replaced a higher bid it turned in around June 11, 2008. – 1st Smoking gun – crony capitalism.
The couple alleges that days after the city council meeting, Messer or someone acting on his order made an “anonymous” call to Lt. James Wernecke, then post commander for the Mansfield post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, the state agency which investigates wrongdoing on state property or involving state employees.
The Castelveteres say either Messer or a John Doe working on his behalf reported to Wernecke that Anthony Castelvetere was working for Safety Service Attire, during hours he was supposed to be working as an investigator for the State Fire Marshal’s office. The couple claims this was part of a malicious scheme to silence the Castelveteres because they had spoken out at city council and caused council to order an investigation “that would likely reveal criminal wrongdoing on Messer’s part.”
The call resulted in Castelvetere being terminated as a state fire investigator, and dismissed from a position with the Ohio National Guard.
“I didn’t even know that he (Castelvetere) had been dismissed by the state until I read it in your newspaper,” Messer said. – Sure you didn’t, your people follow us on facebook – so I call Bull crap!.
The lawsuit says in September 2008, the Castelveteres attended a meeting with Messer and Kreuter, where they believed the allegation of favoritism would be discussed. That’s where they learned the bulletproof vest contract was being awarded to Richland Uniform.
“During the meeting Kreuter admitted, much to the chagrin of defendant Messer, that he and Messer had allowed Richland Uniform to rebid on the armored vest contract, and Richland Uniform’s second big was lower and better than SSA’s,” the court filing said. – Kreuter’s admission is trouble for Messer, don’t ya think?
The lawsuit claims abuse of government power, interference with Castelvetere’s employment and the couples’ business relations, and improper interference with a city bidding process. It seeks a jury trial, asking for compensatory damages of at least $500,000 and punitive damages of $500,000, plus attorney fees and court costs. – I hope Tony WINS, most of the spying on his family was when he was deployed overseas, and we think we know who the terrorists are?.
Attorney Gregory Beck, hired through the city’s insurance policy to represent Messer, said he could not comment in detail on the lawsuit, since it was so recently filed. Recently filed over a month ago, and mentioned on facebooks Mansfielders Perspective Group where MANY of those in the know are members, so how can you say you just recently found out?.
“There is a question in my mind as to whether it has been timely filed,” Beck said.
A case management hearing will be scheduled allowing both sides to meet, set their cards on the table, and decide whether the other sides’ arguments have any merit.
“Once that’s done, we’ll have a better idea of what they are seeking,” Beck said.
Messer was promoted from police chief to safety-service director by former Mayor Don Culliver, before newly elected Mayor Tim Theaker a year ago replaced him with Lori Cope. Currently, Messer is working for Finance Director Linn Steward.
Funny how this corrupt system continues to play hide the weenie, Messer the Crony Capitalist replaced by Cope the lobbyist for the Mayor after collecting disability for short term memory loss. Rumor has it this job was created because they could not live off disability after husband was fired from corrections for harassing an inmate?.
Surely my response to Tim will be censored on the MNJ site, Oh well – you get to read it here!.
Nice one Tim, that may be true? – How ever, don’t you think IF a friend is given a chance to beat a bid, others would be afforded the same chance?. I can see the City wanting to get the BEST DEAL, but if that was true, why wouldn’t they be smart enough to run a “reverse auction” like those in the private sector?. This is “crony capitalism” no 2 ways about it. The harassment and job loss Tony suffered because he wanted an equal chance is ridiculous. Most don’t know this, but his family was harassed by these Neo Nazis while he was overseas defending his Country!. Phil won’t get away with it this time unless we find the Courts to be perverted as well. After all Justice Gwinn of the Supreme Court who has given immunity to this man and his powerful friends before remains on the bench. Watch them try and use the immunity / professional courtesy card again – this is HOW they do it!.
Anthony Castelvetere Good Morning Phil and Mansfield Perspective! Yes, All the lies that Linda Martz printed about Anthony in the past were always on front page. Lies that we proved to be false! Linda and Phil are great friends and she is biased because of her buddy. We wouldn’t respond to her (Phil’s) questions for this article, because on paper, they were Phil’s questions, and she would only twist it to go Phil Messer’s way, so why bother. Not a real journalist, that is for sure!!! . In all of these years, they never once asked us our side, so there is no sense starting now. The real journalists are on the way!!! God is bigger!!! Phil’s buddy, Linda, is told what to write and I suppose he told her to post on page three, because they are in the red now and are trying to downplay our lawsuits in the public’s eye….. What is funny is that they both read the lawsuit and for some reason, when even a kindergartner could read the numeric amounts, they seemed not to know how to do that simple task. It just verifies competency! I think that it is pathetic. It will always just be their truths until we win… Any journalist and retired police chief , or everyday reader, could see that the lawsuit states, ******* $5,000,000 PLUS A $500,000 fine****** for missing records from downtown concerning our case. They mysteriously disappeared. Hmmmm! Wonder how that happened???? How convenient!!! And, oh, I am sure that article is being monitored for blogs….So you, (because we will not buy a single paper from MNJ) as their customers, will never see the truths. The good news is that CNN and FOX news are watching and will be doing the real story in the future, so to you all- The real journalist are coming! They can only hide under their rocks and behind their dirty kronies for so long. Also, We are well under the statue of limitations, They are trying to cause doubt with that as well. We have so much, he will frankly S— himself when it is presented to the Federal Courts. Every evil man has his day! GOD IS BIGGER and NEVER ENDS ON A NEGATIVE!!!!! Karma is a ….for you know what they say. Read Psalms 37. It is perfect for our case. We love your truth fighting…..Thank You for being so smart and being able to read between the bullshit lines! . Anthony, Kim and our boys….You know the ones they scarred when my husband was away, for a year, serving our country for all of our freedoms…FYI- Elementary Children…That is sad.