In May 2011, the group found that the locks to its offices had been changed on orders from Blackwell, the suit alleges.
Blackwell also ordered the Department of Parks and Recreation to destroy property and records contained in the offices, according to the suit. The value of the property was more than $420,000, the suit says.
Blackwell allegedly did this so that the Mantua Community Improvement Committee could replace Mantua Community Planners as a prominent community organization with access to government grants, the suit says.
"No one is going to take Mantua away from us," Jenkins, 76, said at a news conference Tuesday outside the recreation center.
Jenkins told residents in attendance not to sell their homes cheap. Michael P. Creedon, the plaintiffs' attorney, said Blackwell's favored group was more pro-development than Jenkins'.
The other plaintiff in the suit is Samantha M. Monroe, who alleges she was struck by Blackwell's car.
Talking to reporters, Monroe, who said she lived in the area, said she had attended a Nov. 16 community meeting to learn more about neighborhood cleanup schedules.
Monroe said she saw Blackwell dismiss a question asked by Gerald Washington, president of Mantua Community Planners, and decided to insist that Blackwell answer the question.
At that point, Blackwell's aides surrounded her in a threatening manner, the suit alleges. Later, an aide approached Monroe and told her to meet outside with Blackwell to arrange a time to talk about issues.
When Monroe approached Blackwell, who was in her city car, the councilwoman allegedly drove away, hitting Monroe with a side-view mirror. The suit says surgery has been recommended to repair an injury to her right abdomen.
The suit also alleges that Monroe has been subject to death threats and harassment. A news release mentioned that a dead dog was left at her door.
The suit, which includes the city as a defendant, seeks "all available damages."
Contact Robert Moran
at 215-854-5983 or email@example.com,
or follow on Twitter @RobertMoran215.