Ashford Out -- Then In -- As Council President

TOLEDO -- In an odd game of musical chairs, the newly elected president of the Toledo City Council had to give up his seat during a meeting Tuesday night, but got it back in a matter of minutes with the support of the council majority.

Two weeks ago, the majority elected Michael Ashford to replace Rob Ludeman as president.  The city law director then issued an opinion suggesting the move may have violated the city charter because council never technically removed Ludeman.

In the council meeting Tuesday, Ashford gave up his seat to Ludeman, then council voted to remove Ludeman and re-elect Ashford.

The two men couldn't have a bigger difference of opinion on the controversy.  "We're talking about how do we improve the quality of life," said Ashford.  "To us, that's way more important than discussing some hyper-technical points that may have been raised by 3 or 4 lawyers."

"It's probably politics at its very worst," said Ludeman.  "I think when it comes right down to it, that I'll be the one that comes out on top because I didn't want to be a part of the shenanigans, part of the playing, the backroom deals that went on."

A joint lawsuit is expected to be heard in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, challenging the removal of Ludeman and alleging an illegal secret meeting by some democrats on council.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Posted by AEB