By Brett Milam
Board of County Commissioner President David Uible received a civil protection order against a Union Township resident on Aug. 25.
Chris Hicks of Union Township was removed from a July 26 meeting during the “public participation” portion because his remarks were not germane, Uible said.
“We read your email from 9 o’clock,” Uible responded. “I don’t feel you have anything to add that we’re working on that’s germane to the commissioners.”
Less than a month later, Uible filed the civil protection order against Hicks signed by Judge Richard Ferenc, stating Hicks could not be within 500 feet of Uible and could not enter the third floor of the county administration building.
Violating the order would result in imprisonment a fine or both, the CPO stated. The CPO is effective until Sept. 25, 2017.
Matt Miller-Novak with Godbey Law in Cincinnati is representing Hicks in the case, along with First Amendment attorney Jennifer Kinsley, Miller-Novak announced Sept. 19.
Kinsley is a professor at Northern Kentucky University’s Chase Law School.
“Mr. Hicks, a local transparency activist, pressed for public disclosure of the activities and plan. In late August, Commissioner David Uible sought and obtained a temporary Civil Stalking Protection Order (CPO) against Hicks,” Miller-Novak said in an email. “The CPO bars Hicks from county government meetings at which Uible presides as president of the commissioners.”
Miller-Novak continued, “It also blocks Hicks from Republican Party meetings where Hicks is a voting committee member and over which David Uible is the chairman. The actions have deprived Mr. Hicks’ constitutional rights to petition his government and blocks his vote and voice in party matters.”
Kinsley’s role is to assist Miller-Novak, he said, at the upcoming CPO hearing and in “anticipation of a First Amendment case against Clermont County and specified individuals.”