HOWARD — The Ohio Supreme Court in May confirmed its decision not to hear the civil lawsuit brought by Gambier resident Brian Farmer against the East Knox Local Schools.

Farmer is trying to block the transfer of the Bladensburg school property to the Bladensburg Community Heritage Foundation. He alleges that the school district violated state law when it refused to sell the property to parties interested in starting a charter school.

Farmer filed his original complaint in February 2016, and then-Common Pleas Judge Otho Eyster dismissed the case in May. In August, Farmer appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, which also ruled against Farmer. He then submitted the case to the Ohio Supreme Court which denied consideration in May 2016. Farmer subsequently filed a request for reconsideration and the court refused to reconsider its original decision.

When asked what the court’s decision means for the school district, Superintendent Steve Larcomb replied, “I expect the (school) board will again pass a resolution next Thursday to sell the former Bladensburg property to the Bladensburg Community Foundation exactly as it was advertised for auction back in 2015.”

In an email to the News, Farmer said, “It was brought to my attention that the court believes I should have filed it as a Petition for Mandamus, rather than a civil complaint. I am in the process of writing up that petition to be filed shortly. I am fully confident that ultimately, the courts will force the East Knox school board to comply with the law.”

According to, “Generally, a petition for a mandamus order is made to compel a judicial or government officer to perform a duty owed to the petitioner.”


Pam Schehl: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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