September 2, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
77°F
test

Grafton Mayor charged with drunken driving ‘extremely embarrassed’

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan gives a brief statement at the council meeting on Tuesday evening, just days after she was charged with drunken driving. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan gives a brief statement at the council meeting on Tuesday evening, just days after she was charged with drunken driving. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

GRAFTON — Mayor Megan Flanigan at Tuesday’s Village Council meeting apologized for her Saturday drunken driving arrest.

“I am without a doubt extremely embarrassed, and I’m deeply sorry,” said Flanigan, who faces drunken driving, failure to control and leaving the scene of an accident charges.

Flanigan is accused of hitting a fire hydrant with her Chevrolet sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Fox Run and Hunting Hollow near her home. Police said Flanigan denied drinking but nearly fell during a failed field sobriety test and refused to take a Breathalyzer test, triggering an automatic driver’s license suspension.

Toni Morgan, the North Ridgeville assistant law director and prosecutor appointed as a special prosecutor to handle the case, has refused to make video of Flanigan’s arrest public.

Flanigan didn’t appear at Elyria Municipal Court on Tuesday morning for her arraignment. A not guilty plea was faxed to the court by her attorney, Daniel Wightman. Flanigan, due back in court Nov. 20, is free on a $2,230 bond.

Flanigan told the meeting’s audience of about 40 people that Friday was an “emotional day for personal reasons.”

The 32-year-old Flanigan, whose driving record includes failure to control, failure to yield, speeding and driving with expired plates violations, said her behavior was “out of character.”

Flanigan, who took office in 2012 and earns about $13,400 annually for the part-time position, said she had never shirked her responsibilities as mayor.

“This will be no exception,” she said.

Flanigan said before the meeting that on the advice of Wightman, she would not comment beyond the written statement she read to the audience. Police said they found a pill in a baggie in the back seat of the police cruiser Flanigan was taken to the Lorain County Jail in.

Flanigan said Tuesday she didn’t know what kind of pill it was and it wasn’t hers. Police said they are awaiting laboratory results on the ingredients of the pill.

No one addressed Flanigan’s arrest during the public speaking portion of the meeting. A few people, who didn’t want to identify themselves, said after the meeting that they would’ve spoken but were afraid they would be cut off.

Council President Randy Moore said village attorney Tom Smith advised him not to allow public comment on the arrest because it involved a personal matter rather than Flanigan’s mayoral duties.

Reporter Chelsea Miller contributed to this story.

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

  • Robert Ives

    Was she with Bernie Kosar?

  • Gun toting cracker

    If she would of went home with the last guy to buy her a drink she wouldn’t be in this spot. Jack Bradley, Lorain, Ohio. Attorney at Law. Sorry, lame attempt at humor, adult only.

    • jz

      would of? Nice grammar.

  • Mike wowk

    Why would she apologize? She plead NOT GUILTY. If I didn’t do something I wouldnt say I was sorry. She obviously believes she didn’t do it… Or shes a liar and is going to deny it in court?

    • bROWNS77

      It is standard to plead not guilty at any pretrial !
      I cant stand when the media makes headlines saying things like , “Ariel Castro pleads not guilty at pretrial”…… Um….duh!
      Name one case where the defendant plead guilty at pretrial.

      • Mike wowk

        No its not! You mean she has to plead not guilty? Ive gotten tickets before and was guilty and plead guilty and paid my fine. I’ve gotten tickets and wasn’t guilty so plead not guilty and fought it and won. Thats how it works.

        • Chuck Northcutt

          Spoken like someone who was ZERO clue on how the court system works. By pleading on those tickets, you also got points on your license that you otherwise could have avoided by pleading at a later date to something else, which this mayor will probably ultimately do, depending on the facts and situation of her case that NONE of us truly knows. Better stick to commenting on things you know about.

          • Mike wowk

            Well Chuckie…. its called taking responsibility for ones actions. If I was speeding and was caught I pay my fine and move on. Why clog up the courts when I was guilty? Let me guess….. You are a lawyer and make your living helping guilty people get off on technicalities? Can’t wait to get your greedy little hooks into Megans dads fat wallet and get her plead down to failure to control and allow her to go out and re offend and mabey do some serious damage next time. Sound about right? Its painfully obvious how the court system works. People of privilege and power get off while the general public takes the hit.

          • Ray Venn

            Spoken like a true “scumbag defender”.

            By pleading on those tickets Mike took responsibility for his actions and accepted the punishment…without paying hundreds of dollars to someone like you.

            If Mike has kids, he can say to them look, I broke the law and accepted the responsibility.

            That’s something a leader, like a mayor or father, would be expected to do.

            You know NOTHING about Mike. You make a living helping the criminals in our area so your opinion regarding the mess the “good mayor” has put herself in is as biased as it probably could be.

            Oh, BTW…you may wanna check the website Chuck. It’s laced with grammar and punctuation errors.

          • Chuck Northcutt

            Wow, talk about getting tag teamed by a pair of judgmental self righteous Jabronis! I guess you guys really schooled me . . NOT! Mikey, it’s called protecting people’s rights throughout the judicial system. That’s what I do. Well, people smart enough to realize they need an attorney, anyways, but you keep on pleading as charged every time you find yourself in front of a judge, since you clearly know better. As far as the mayor goes, I don’t know her or her dad from a hole in the wall, and from what I understand, she already has an attorney, so wrong again, there, sport. I just have a real hard time standing by and biting my tongue when ignorant people talks about things they know nothing about and dish out some pretty bad legal advice. I really am trying to work on it, though, just so I don’t have to deal with geniuses like yourself, but, man is it hard to ignore such ignorance!

            Ray-Ray! It’s bad enough you’re a self righteous judgmental little p@$ck, but an OCD grammar NAZI, too???? Shame; shame! nobody likes either one, but to be both; well, let’s just say that you, my friend, have GOT to be the life of the party. By the way, I have yet to meet the criminal defendant who pled to lesser charges; thereby, taking on the consequences that still goes along with such a plea, who didn’t on some level accept the “responsibility,” such as fines, court costs, and even jail time, of their actions. Unlike you and Mikey, their (oops! before you get your panties in a bunch, I meant ‘they’re’) just being smart about it. As for calling me a scumbag, coming from someone of your limited mindset, I can only take that as a compliment. Of course, a lot of law abiding citizens, like yourself, think of us defense attorneys as scumbags, until they need one. While you and Mikey are casting judgment from behind the safety of your keyboards at home, just remember that EVERYONE, including you two geniuses, are just one mistake, one bad decision away from picking up criminal charges. You would be surprised of some of the good caliber hard working family people in our community that you’ve just so matter-of-factly labeled as “criminals” that I have been proud to “help” through a very difficult time of their life. I have to admit, I’m even more proud that makes someone like you and Mikey think of me as a “scumbag.” When it comes to your two’s definition of a scumbag, that probably puts me in some pretty good company.

            Good night, boys!

          • Mike wowk

            Once again Chuck, this isn’t that hard. The times when I was speeding…. I knew I was guilty and I plead guilty, paid my fine and hopefully learned a lesson and try to speed less. Another time a LEO flat out lied and made up charges.I was EASILY able to call out the holes in his story and in the end catch him in a lie in front of the judge. Judge dismissed all charges and sent me in my way.

            By all means if Mayor Megan wasn’t drunk, didn’t leave drugs in the back of the Police car, didn’t run over a fire hydrant, didn’t leave the scene of the accident….. then sure she should plead not guilty. And even if she is found guilty it doesnt matter because I’m sure it’ll bet sealed just like the rest of her criminal record.

          • Ray Venn

            All that and you still can’t comprehend properly written English.

            The term “scumbag defender” means that you defend scumbags.

            Now I understand why your website looks like it was done by a 6th grader.

            I’d much rather sit on my “high horse” than be an individual that makes his living helping child abusers, rapists and murderers get a sweet deal in a courtroom.

            I bet your momma is so proud…

          • jz

            Layers also protect all of us from government abuse of powers. The government has every opportunity to prosecute and every citizen, scumbag or not deserves a defense.That protects us from the flip side of the coin where corrupt and evil leaders could take us back to the revolution which formed our great country. Sorry about your unfortunate experience with alcoholic parents. My childhood and alcohol was about lots of food, music, live polka bands. dancing and good times. No abuse in any way. So my point of reference is not near as negative as yours. You got too much of ax as to grind and should off some of that anger. Lawyers serve a way bigger purpose than just defending “scumbags”. Your tunnel vision blinds you to bigger pictures and robs you of a soul capable of forgiveness. Calling lawyers scumbags is juvenile and simple minded. Admitting you like being on a high horse. Pride goeth before a fall Venn. I,m holding back more adjectives I could sling. Lighten up man.

    • Bill

      In the first court date you always, always plead not guilty. Your lawyer will then work with the prosecutor on hopes it will be plead down to a lesser offense. No chance of that ever happening if you plead guilty right away.

  • Pingback: Grafton mayor 'embarrassed' by OVI arrest; OHP finds cocaine in semi; man hit, killed by school bus in Canton: Overnight News Links | Cleveland News

  • Ray Venn

    Yeah, real sorry my eye.

    If she was truly sorry she would have plead guilty, owned her mistake and been a true leader.

    Instead she hires Bradley of all people and will fight the laws she is sworn to uphold as a mayor.

    Toss her out on her ear…

    • jz

      How many cops and prosecutors in court for DWI did the same thing? All of them. Some of it is process, some is strategy. Venn you are right, but, too self rightous. How you judge others is how you will be judged. You gonna swear you never in your life drank and drove? Get off your high horse. And some of you responses regarding my Ben Franklin quote, and whether he was talking about the drug laws? Pinhead.

      • Ray Venn

        Nope, never EVER drank and drove. I spent “a few” years in the Army and watched how the effects of alcohol destroyed dozens of people’s careers. I was also the subject of abuse from alcoholic parents and I swore I was going to be the person in my family that broke the chain of “children being a product of their environment”. No more alcoholism and no more abuse.

        I have kept that promise and have ALWAYS been a good example for my children to follow.

        Do I drink? Yes, at home from time to time. When my wife and I go out to dinner if she has a glass of wine, I do not. If I have a beer she does not drink. She goes so far as to not drink ever the night before she has to work.

        You ask how many cops and judges have DUI’s. Who knows, who cares. If they are convicted and serve their punishment fair and square why should it matter? Isn’t it funny that the only people who complain about the courts and cops are the people who are involved with them and I don’t mean that in a positive manner. We had one girl come on here saying the same thing about me and another person posting being “saints” when both her and her mother I believe had been arrested for DUI. It seems the people defending the mayor are her DUI counterparts. Maybe you fall in that category as well…

        Call me judgmental all you want. I’ll be happy to be judged by any of you…by the same standard I judge them. I know the Bible verse and I stand by my feelings about people who drink and drive.

        Insofar as your comment regarding Franklin, you are the one who used it INAPPROPRIATELY, not me.

        Get a clue, drinking and driving is not a “right”.

        Owning and using drugs(your constant rant) is not a “right”.

        You have the right to be given Due Process of The Law and to be treated by The Law of The Land…

        The law of the land says do not drink and drive…the law also says that if you refuse a breathalyzer you lose your license for a year. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

        Furthermore, drinking and driving is not normal, it’s criminal and it kills people.

        • jz

          Franklins quote was not being used inappropriately. You know it’s about too much governmental powers in exchange for ‘perceived safety”. “Owning and using drugs your constant rant”. I,m talking about our drug policies and their effects and whether they are worthwhile to continue. Rather than respond to that you sling the constant rant thing. I never said it is a “right” to drink and drive. You probably didn,t research LEAP. Enough said by both of us. We are all human. Yes, I,m a strong proponent of changing our drug law policies. I,m sure they are opposite your views. I,ve read your posts. Your rants are always putting everybody and anybody down you can. Everybody’s wrong, I know everything blah blah blah. Overly judgemental pinhead. You can have the last word. Over and out.

      • hottamomma

        and if he hadnt drank and drove, im sure he paused and not stopped at a stop sign which is also against the law!. good one

    • hottamomma

      i wouldve hired bradley also, hes a GREAT attorney

  • tickmeoff

    Not guilty is the standard plea. It’s how the justice system works. I am sure she feels shame. Don’t take the not guilty verdict personally. It’s like asking somebody “How are you”? When in reality it is a greeting of hello. No one really gives a hoot how you are!

    • Chuck Northcutt

      I KNOW that you’re right!! Nothing irritates me more whenever I ask someone the customary, “How ya doin’?” and they proceed to go on a long tirade about everything that’s happened to them the past week and how those events led to their current state of mind! Like I have time to hear all that!! But I digress . . .

  • Abbie

    She made an EXCUSE for her driving drunk.She had an “emotional” day? Who doesn’t have a day that brings up “emotions”?! Not a good excuse. And driving drunk is totally preventable – call for a ride after drinking whether you are being “characteristic” or not.

    • hottamomma

      everyone makes mistakes

  • Traci Anne Wolford

    And why ISN’T her arrest video being made public? If it were any one of us “regular” people it surely would be made public!

  • bunianne

    Geeech not that it matters but she looks exactly like her dad only with hair :-)

  • tmc

    so she plead not guilty but apologized? Trying to say she took a pill. Tried to say she was having a bad day. Would any of those excuses make you feel better had she hit someone. Typical politician, blame someone or something else and expect everyone to tell you your doing a great job. Get real. Poor role model.

  • fromycoldeadhands

    A drunken Cow for Mayor……………………