July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Grafton’s mayor charged with DUI

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan was cited by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office early Saturday morning on suspicion she was driving while intoxicated and was involved in an accident.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, a Grafton police office on patrol located a damaged fire hydrant on Fox Run Drive. The officer also found a license plate on the ground near the damaged hydrant.

flanigan

It traced back to Flanigan, who took office in January 2012 after defeating longtime Mayor Shari Szczepanski. The 32-year-old mayor lives in the neighborhood.

While the officer was running the plate, Flanigan returned to the area. She was driving a heavily damaged white SUV, the release said.

Grafton police then contacted the Sheriff’s Office, which took over the investigation.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene at 3:32 a.m.

Flanigan was found to have a strong order of alcohol on her and failed several field sobriety tests.

Flanigan was taken to the Lorain County jail for a breath alcohol test. She was issued a summons for OVI, reasonable control and failure to stop after an accident. The case will be handled through the Elyria Municipal Court.

Flanigan could not be reached for comment. She did not release a statement but alluded to the incident on her Facebook page.

An avid runner and triathlete, Flanigan commented on the social networking site as recently as Friday afternoon that she planned to take part in Saturday’s Akron Half Marathon. It is not known if she made it to the race.

In response to a commenter who mentioned the arrest after seeing a news report, Flanigan first said she doesn’t watch the news and then said the story was inaccurate.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • guest

    The Lorain County Sheriff’s website doesn’t indicate the mayor was booked in and released on Saturday. Did she receive special treatment as she is the Mayor??? There are people listed with OVI the booking roster. She shouldn’t be treated any different than anybody else

  • WTFnext

    Nope, she wasn’t booked in according to what I see either. The story said she was issued a summons. They probably gave her a ride home too. Of course she was treated differently. Just like the wife of the North Ridgeville police chief stealing. She didn’t even have to attend her arraignment. Her attorney went and entered a plea on her behalf. The rest of us had better show up to court or get our butt thrown in the county for contempt.
    Personally, if you are in a law enforcement position and you break the law, I don’t think you are entitled to work at that job any more.

  • tickmeoff

    She returned to the scene too quickly.What she did was wrong, but the only person hurt here was her. As to special treatment, most get it unless they speak out against the police or FOP. If society was serious about drinking and driving, bars would simply be eliminated. Even today with all the commercials on TV and the embarrassment of getting in trouble, most people walk out of the bar illegal.
    If I was her husband I would have parked the car elsewhere, had her go home and sleep it off, and see the police in the morning. The DUI charge was avoidable, and don’t forget this charge never goes away, it stays on the record forever.
    This was a victim less crime and it’s too bad nobody was looking out for her, now she has two years of Lacada and piss test’s. As a child I can remember relatives getting away with DUI, back then they were called accidents. Living here in Lorain the punishment is often determined by who you know. The common person will take it on the chin, the connected will be given a break. The extra cost generally being the Attorney. I would feel differently if the charge fell off the record like a speeding ticket. There is no forgiveness, therefore One has to work in one’s best interest. There are two sets of laws, one for us, and one for Law Enforcement. It has been that way since the beginning of time and human nature being what it is, it will continue to be.

    • Bob Sweatt

      You are saying it’s the bar’s fault for selling to this drunk., who doesn’t know when she has had enouh?

      As for it being a victimless crime. Tell that to all the people who die from dui/ovi accidents.

      • tickmeoff

        It’s not the bar’s fault, the fault being that any bar exists period. Who is kidding whom? The state wants the tax money from the alcohol and also wants to make money on the other end with enforcement. If we want to keep these artificially lower limits, shouldn’t we have no parking in front of the bar. No car’s. No drinking and driving. I am not talking about a prohibition, we would still have stores and Liquor stores selling, filling the state coffers with cash. The law makes no common sense as it is, two beers an hour puts you in trouble. The law does work in that it is always in the back of your mind, how long can you stay, how many beers can you consume. Most people can drink over the minimum, be over 0.08 and get home safely. On the other hand what is right?
        Don’t forget there are alcoholics out there that have developed tolerances that would have the rest of us in bed and sleeping it off.
        If it’s pool night and the car is in front of the bar for two hours, one should expect to be pulled over, unless they have a relative in law enforcement. I can be morally right by holding off and consuming at home later, but legally my boat is sunk!

        • Jim Koney

          I see none of you live in Grafton, if you did , then you would know she is at the bar from about 9 till close at least 5 days a week. You talk about it is the bars fault, who is the one who walked in the door in the first place. Time to grow up and face the real world Megan !

          • guest

            this from a guy with a DUI? Really?

          • Jim Koney

            Where did I say that I was a saint ? As a matter of fact, when I did, I fully cooperated with the police, not sit there and lie to them.
            Why is it that you go by “guest”. Are you afraid that we may dig up some dirt on you ? Grow some balls, then comment on it !

          • guest

            I have 1 thing on my record, and ovi from 99. Im just not throwing ppl to the wolves as you are. I made a mistake when i got mine, and took care of it thew the legal system. Id say you have some growing up to do yourself pal, I know a bit more about your legal troubles and bills than you want posted here. I wouldnt do that to anyone, its not the public right to know. Just think its funny your on a high and mighty horse.

    • Haras Smith

      Thank God it was a victimless crime. It could have been a very different outcome. And next time she is out, we may not be so lucky.

  • told you so

    The police did the right thing,but there is a lot more to this.She was in her development 3am

  • ken m

    at the 0.08 limit, having a couple beers at home,a party or bar, can put most at or above this limit…doesn t mean your falling down drunk,can t drive well, just means, your over the limit by law..this lady made a mistake,had she not hit the fire hydant and came back, we wouldn t be reading this…she made a mistake, just remember,next time you go out and have a few beers, couple glasses of wine and drive home..your most likely over the 0.08 limit…yes,by law,your drunk!!!!

    • WTFnext

      You said just because you are over the limit doesn’t mean you can’t drive well.
      IN THIS CASE IT OBVIOUSLY DOES, BECAUSE SHE HAD AN ACCIDENT. You are downplaying it because it wasn’t another person she hit, but it very easily could have been. And her judgment was obviously impaired if she drove back to the scene, or for that matter drove away to begin with. I’m glad I don’t live in Grafton. How can this person be in charge of the city when she isn’t in charge of her own actions.

  • GreatRedeemer

    The odor of alcohol is not proof that one is over the limit.

    I would presume she refused the breath test. The article
    does not say.

    • WTFnext

      Yes, the article says after failing field sobriety tests, she was taken to the Sheriff’s department for a breath test.

  • guest

    I suppose that NONE of you ever made a mistake? Any of you go out to dinner and have a glass of wine or a drink with dinner? Your probably over the legal limit period. That is breaking the law just the same. Our elected officials are HUMANS, subject to making mistakes just like you or I. Be thankful no one was hurt. As far as Grafton PD calling in the LC Sheriff, that would be protocol to prevent Conflict of Interest.