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Firetruck causes ruckus in Sheffield Lake

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    A firetruck with a “Duff for Judge” sign is parked at North Abbe and Lake roads in Sheffield Lake.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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SHEFFIELD LAKE — A local defense attorney and candidate for Domestic Relations Court judge is in a bit of hot water with the city of Sheffield Lake after the mayor said he illegally parked a firetruck at the corner of Lake and North Abbe roads.

Mayor Dennis Bring said earlier this week, Mike Duff parked an old firetruck on a piece of land Duff owns at the intersection but because the vehicle doesn’t have tags, it legally cannot be driven.

“We were alerted to the fact that it was there because it’s an old truck from the city of Lorain,” Bring said. “People were calling us and asking why a city of Lorain truck would be out that far so our Police Department went out to investigate it.”

Bring said officers realized the truck didn’t have proper registration and then ran the vehicle identification number, which said it was registered to Lorain.

“We probably spent four hours between our Police Department, their Police Department and their Fire Department trying to figure out what was going on,” he said.

Lorain Safety-Service Director Dan Given said an error occurred with the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles when the truck was sold at auction about eight years ago, but the vehicle actually belongs to local businessman Donald Buchs.

“Finally, we figured it all out and when we tried to reach out to them to figure out how it got there, they wouldn’t tell us,” Bring said. “But we were told they couldn’t drive it because of the registration issues and a lack of tags. How did it get there though? At this point, it’s a junk vehicle.”

Bring said it means someone likely drove the truck illegally to park it and while they have taped over the wording that identifies it as a city of Lorain truck, it still shouldn’t be there.

“They make things called tow trucks,” he said. “It’s parked illegally and if you’re running for judge, you’d think you’d be more aware of what’s going on.”

Duff said people have done things like parking trucks there in the past and Bring is just using the truck, which is serving as a mount for “Duff for Judge” campaign signs, as part of a feud.

“The mayor and I had a falling out and he has no right to move it,” Duff said. “I’ll sue him in his public and private abilities if he steps foot on that property.”

In a letter to Bring and Sheffield Lake Law Director David Graves, Duff said he is “under no obligation to move the 1987 Pierce Arrow Fire Truck” and if action is taken not in accordance with Sheffield Lake ordinances and the Constitution of the United States, he’ll sue, citing an email Bring sent him about the matter.

“Given the tenor of Mayor Bring’s email and how this entire situation has been conducted by the City of Sheffield Lake, said lawsuit will include not only the City of Sheffield Lake, but will also include Mayor Bring and Law Director David Graves in their personal and official capacities. This lawsuit is not intended as a threat, but will be used to protect the Constitutional property rights upon which Mayor Bring seems intent on infringing.”

Contact Katie Nix at 440-329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Find her on Facebook at @KatieHNix and on Twitter @KatieHNix.


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