April 23, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
51°F
test

Grafton mayor’s arrest not first brush with law

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan

Megan Flanigan

GRAFTON — Saturday’s drunken driving, failure to control and leaving the scene of an accident charges are the latest driving charges against Mayor Megan Flanigan, but not the first.

The 32-year-old Flanigan has at least four violations since 2003, according to court records. They include a 2003 speeding conviction, failure to yield in 2006, failure to control in 2008 and driving with expired plates July 15.

Around 3:10 a.m. Saturday, Flanigan is accused of hitting a fire hydrant with her Chevrolet sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Fox Run and Hunting Hollow near Flanigan’s home in the 1100 block of Fox Run. Flanigan’s license plate was found by the hydrant, and the Chevrolet had substantial front-end damage, according to a report by Sgt. Robert Perkins of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

Flanigan, who didn’t return calls Sunday, denied hitting anything and denied drinking. However, deputies said her speech was slurred and she smelled of alcohol. They said Flanigan, who said she had a sprained ankle, was unsteady on her feet and failed a field sobriety test.

“On more than one occasion, I had to catch her from falling,” Deputy Adam Trifiletti wrote in his report.

Flanigan, due in Elyria Municipal Court on Tuesday, refused to take breathalyzer test at the Lorain County Jail, according to the report. Refusal is an automatic license suspension, and Flanigan’s license was seized.

Perkins wrote that after Flanigan got out of his police cruiser, he found a small plastic baggy in the back seat with a pill in it. Perkins, who didn’t identify what kind of pill it was, said Flanigan was the only person in the back seat during his shift, and the back seat had been cleaned and checked by a deputy from the prior shift.

Randy Moore, village Council president, said Sunday he hasn’t spoken to Flanigan since the incident. Moore said he checked Saturday with attorney Tom Smith, who represents Grafton, about the potential ramifications of Flanigan’s legal problems.

Moore would temporarily succeed Flanigan, who took office in 2012, if she left office before her term expires Dec. 31, 2015. The position is part time.

Moore said Flanigan has done a good job as mayor, but he expects she may be criticized about the arrest by residents at Tuesday’s Council meeting. Moore wouldn’t comment on Flanigan’s case, but said in general, he believes elected officials need to hold themselves to high ethical standards because they represent the public. Moore said he was appointed to Council in 1994 after the councilman he succeeded resigned after a drunken driving arrest.

“Perception is the biggest thing,” Moore said. “It’s not a good example to set.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com

  • Arietta Sullivan

    okie dokie then..i don’t understand some people,you get good jobs like this&ruins it. be thankful you have a job&show it to yourself&God,you’re grateful.hopefully,she’ll get the same penalty as the next person who would have been in her shoes&hopefully,the courts,orders some help for her.

  • GreatRedeemer

    What we need is that new no refusal OVI test they been
    rolling with down south.

    Basically they keep a judge and prosecutor on scene and
    should a person refuse the blood test, the officer swears out a warrant and the
    judge if agrees issues it and they take a non consensual blood test.

    • yeah right

      yeah cause that’s exactly what we need is a bunch of cops running around sticking everyone with needles every time they “suspect a violation”

    • Peter Aldrich

      We don’t need any more police state tactics. You must be a Hitler fan, GreatRedumber

      • GreatRedeemer

        “We don’t need any more police state tactics. You must be a Hitler fan, GreatRedumber”
        You sir are way off base, your comment is in poor taste and frankly downright insulting.

        • Peter Aldrich

          You are not worthy of insulting. Especially when you are a coward and hide behind a name

  • Joshua Currier

    at least she was smart enough to not blow. dont be a communist and say they need to do away with refusing it! You have a right to make your own decisions,,, dont let others make those decisions for you!

    • Ray Venn

      No, Josh…

      “Smart enough” would have been to NOT endanger everyone elses lives driving drunk.

      She did make “her own decision” and that decision was to drive drunk.

      Voters get to make a decision as well…

      • jz

        Yes she made a bad decision. but what you and Redeemer are advocating for is the old east germany tactics. Careful what you wish for. As for me I,ll continue being a Patriot. Giving up freedom for safety we deserve neither. Also, once the damage is done, drank and drove, what is the point of the government sticking a needle in your arm without consent? Are you a patriot or a sheep?

        • Ray Venn

          OK, JZ…

          Someone is REASONABLY suspected of a crime and has their FINGERPRINTS taken.

          SAME THING…right?

          A fingerprint at a crime scene is an indicator of presence.

          Your breath in a breathalyzer checks for the presence of alcohol AFTER an officer REASONABLY suspects you of DUI.

          In East Germany, they would have just charged you and convicted you of a crime without even considering any physical evidence.

          Driving is a PRIVILEGE, not a right and administering to a breath test or even taking blood when reasonably suspected of committing a crime is not infringing on anyone’s “rights”.

          It’s part of due process. Something that didn’t exist in East Germany.

        • GreatRedeemer

          Is being a patriot, and allegedly causing damage to private/public property, endangering
          innocent people while hurling through the streets in a 5000 pound machine and not owning up to it patriotism.

          Should she use the law as it’s defined and as is her right to,
          absolutely! If given the choice why would anyone consent to a test that could offer undeniable evidence that one is
          over the limit or any other possibility.
          After all this America. Your suggestion of east Germany is preposterous.

          • jz

            Redeemer and Venn. You do not distinguish between a needle in the arm and fingerprinting?Fingerprinting is for identification, and you see no difference between that and evidence gathered without a warrant or a citizens permission for the government to stick a needle in your arm? The East Germany analogy speaks to self incrimination, which is also part of due process.I hardly see that as preposterous. I,m all for safe driving and a just punishment for a truly drunk driver. She also left the scene and at least that nite did not seem to take full responsibility. I agree with you Redeemer but you missed the East Germany analogy. Okaying the police to stick a needle in a drunk persons arm is a little much in my book. I think someone else thought it was a good idea.

          • Ray Venn

            To forcibly take a person’s blood, one needs:
            1. A warrant.
            2. A medical person trained to properly take said blood.
            The “cops” aren’t out there taking anyone’s blood and they’re certainly not taking it(now) without consent or a warrant.
            I do agree that an IRONCLAD, (no work or other hokey “excuses”) 5 year suspension of a person’s driving PRIVELEGES be immediately implemented when a person refuses to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test if they’re reasonably suspected of DUI.
            …and don’t give me your “self incrimination” nonsense either.
            Drunk drivers kill too many Americans each year because of people like the “good mayor”, a councilman in Lorain and a school board member who “school” others in how to beat a DUI.
            How about we finally get someone in government who has a backbone and who will stand by their mistakes, not try to be “cute” and beat them on a technicality.
            What a great example…

          • jz

            I realize your points 1 and 2. Bad things happen in life and automatically going way overboard with the hammer em mentality is not always the better solution. I,ve lost loved ones and our day is coming also Venn. What is accomplished by keeping someone from going to work for 5 years when that citizen has not been convicted yet? Reasonable suspicion or not. I don,t take away the seriousness of losing a loved one to a drunk driver by any means. These 2-3 year sentences are too light. And you’re right, she is trying to be cute. In court she will have the oppurtunity to show genuine remorse and admit to the silliness of her excuses the nite luckily nobody was killed. I try to distinguish between sensible governmental powers and just wanting ‘revenge”. If you think getting tougher on every social ill is the way to go then my east germany analogy fits. Like Ben Franklin said freedoms given up for safety we deserve neither safety nor freedom. The tougher we get on drugs the violence rate goes up exponentially. Look at Mexico when they used the military. Violence on both sides drastically increased. Maybe you would call that liberal jibberish. I would call it some policies do more harm than good and actually make things worse. LEAP. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Do some research. make sure you take your nitroglycerin before you start reading up on them.

          • Ray Venn

            The 5 year prohibition is not about a conviction, it’s about a CHOICE.

            Either you CHOOSE to blow into the machine or you lose your license if you’re reasonably suspected of DUI.

            If you are not drunk, then what’s the problem…if you are, then take your lumps and move on.

            Also, your comment regarding drugs and violence in Mexico has nothing to do with America.

            We have better trained police, fewer corrupt officials, better communications and more money to fight drug crimes. Our society needs fewer people like you who sympathize with drug users and more people willing to stand up for law and order.

            When we FINALLY make drug crime punishments more harsh than what the druggies are willing to risk, then and only then will we slow down rampant drug abuse.

            When you commit a crime, you are giving up your freedom and handing it to someone else. I’m sure Ben Franklin didn’t have drug laws in mind when he made that statement.

            Also, I’ve been to East Germany…you have no clue.

          • jz

            Little to do with sympathizing for drug users. You drink alcohol? It.s a drug too. LEAP is a group of cops who advocate abandoning your tough on drugs mentality for a more sensible, common sense , effective way to deal with drug use and abuse and also reducing crime. Your tunnel vision get tough on everything is non workable, has little common sense, heck we can,t even keep drugs out of our prisons! Study up on LEAP. they are ex cops, judges, prosecutors etc. Some members? Walter Cronkite, Alexander Haig, William F. Buckley, George Shultz., Serpico. Many more who,ve been there done that. We,ve done the tough on drugs thing and it backfired. Quit putting words in my mouth.I never said I sympathize with drug users. You think Bush Jr. didn,t use drugs when he did not show up for his urine tests? Obama admits too it. I don,t know your whole story but quit twisting what I,m saying. The mexico point also travels north. Man you are short sighted. You truly believe this drug war is working? The most benefitting are black market drug lords and lawyers. Politicians ride it like gravy train. Study LEAP sir. I,m trying not to pigeon hole you , don,t pigeon hole me.

    • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

      With no disrespect, you don’t know what Communism means. I agree with you about the refusal to blow and I’m quite the fan of Marx.

      • jz

        Who are you responding too? I don,t get your point?

        • Joe Smith

          Alan Pugh is responding to Joshua Currier

        • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

          If you look to the right of my name above, there is a “replied” arrow with the name of the person to which I’m responding.

    • John Boy

      If you don’t want to comply with the law, don’t get a drivers license. It’s that simple. It is a privilege to have a drivers license not a right. I would like the police to have the authority to remove those who like to drink and drive from the roads so that it will be safer for all drivers.

  • Mike wowk

    Its obvious she left the scene to call her attorney. Refused to blow and claims she had a sprained ankle to help explain why she couldn’t walk a straight line. Thats the way ya roll when you lawyer up. She will walk with her Insurance paying for the hydrant.

  • Phil Blank

    Who never went over the speed limit?
    Yes, some have had failure to yield and or failure to control.
    And some people do forget to renew their plates.
    Why bring-up minor offences from the past?
    Its the drunk driving that is the bad one!

    She is NOT the only one with a traffic record!

  • Kristen Ashenbach

    Arietta Sullivan and Ray Venn: I am interested in meeting you. Please message me if you are interested in meeting up for coffee someday, because I am interested in meeting people who must be such saints! Hoping to hear from you soon! :)

    • Ray Venn

      Nice one, coming from you Kristen.

      You and “Linda” (mommy maybe?) both have a DUI arrest…You people are all the same.

      I’m not a saint in “saintly terms” but I have never been arrested for anything and my last ticket was over 10 years ago. Neither have my children.

      • Kristen Ashenbach

        Ray, you are missing the point. The point is that you don’t judge people and commit libel against them, that’s all. Perhaps under driving jurisdictions, you have a better record than myself, but the point is that no one is perfect, and we are all sinners, and I am sure there are other ways you are not carrying out perfection, so then why try to point out the faults of others? You have no right.

  • Traci Anne Wolford

    These elected officials are SUPPOSED to lead by example. Sure everybody makes mistakes, but don’t we elect these leaders, be it on a local, state or federal level, because they are presumed to be smarter and know BETTER? I’m not judging her and shoot, I don’t even live in Grafton; but I DO feel that she should be held to a higher standard and if she breaks the law she should have to be held every bit as accountable as any average Joe on the street would. I got my license suspended just for not having insurance after an accident and am paying fines and court costs right now for it-and I was STONE COLD SOBER. I broke the law and am responsible for my own bad decisions/choices and she should be too, especially when you make the choice to not call a taxi or a friend/family member for a ride when you’re intoxicated and you instead choose to drive intoxicated, putting yourself and others in harms’ way. A taxi sure would have been cheaper than paying your lawyer, fines, court costs and reinstatement fees. Just saying…

  • Mark B

    Its soon to get worse , seeing that the Ohio State Police are not making as many arrests for DUI they are proposing lowering the limit to .06 .

    • Mark

      if you think that is why, you’re right in there with the .08′rs who think they are smart and sound enough to drive with that rate.

      I have yet to meet a smart drunk.

      • Joe Smith

        So you are saying the people who are causing these accidents are between .06 and .08? total BS, most of the accidents that I have read about were WAY over the limit so lowering the limit will do nothing but make more money for the police.A 200 lb man can drink as little as 3 drinks and get a .06, a 120 lb person can drink 2 and hit .06. Those are 1 1/4oz shot drinks. That little bit should not get you a DWI