October 26, 2014

Elyria
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UPDATED: Grafton mayor pleads no contest to DUI charge

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan gives a brief statement at an October council meeting. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan gives a brief statement at an October council meeting. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan on Tuesday pleaded no contest in Elyria Municipal Court to charges of DUI and failure to stop after an accident.

Additional charges of failure to control her vehicle and possession of drugs stemming from her Sept. 28, 2013, arrest were dropped, according to court records.

Flanigan, 32, was arrested when she failed field sobriety tests after she struck a fire hydrant near the intersection of Fox Run and Hunting Hollow about 3 a.m. A Grafton police officer discovered the mayor and her damaged Chevrolet SUV and called in Lorain County sheriff’s deputies to handle the investigation.

On the night of the crash, Flanigan denied knowing what had caused the damage to her SUV and insisted that she wasn’t responsible for hitting the fire hydrant, although pieces of her vehicle were found near it.

Deputies later found a pill used to prevent withdrawal symptoms for those addicted to opioids such as heroin in the back seat of the patrol car Flanigan had ridden in. Deputies said that Flanigan was the only person to ride in the cruiser the night of her arrest.

Flanigan declined to comment on her plea Tuesday.

Her attorney, Jack Bradley, said Flanigan took a drug screening that included tests on her hair, which can determine drug use months before, and that led to the drug charge being dropped.

“It was negative for everything,” Bradley said.

Flanigan was fined $600 and sentenced to three days in jail. She has attended a driver’s intervention program that will allow her to avoid time behind bars, Bradley said. Her driver’s license also was suspended for six months retroactive to the day of the incident, but she will have work driving privileges.

She apologized during a Grafton Village Council meeting shortly after her arrest.

“She wanted to take responsibility for what she did,” Bradley said after the plea hearing. “She’s ready to move on and take care of her duties as mayor.”

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • stop ur whining part deux

    Thumbs up if you saw this coming. Anyone who has ever gotten a DUI knows the first one is plead down. The only shock is that she actually plead no contest to the DUI. Usually it too is knocked down to a lesser charge.

    ….and now the onslaught of “she should step down” b.s.

    • Jeff

      as a public servant, do you not agree there should be some sort of punishment? especially after the b.s. with the policeman??
      Fair is Fair, is it not ?? Or are you going to say she is above and better than everyone else?

      • John Davidson

        Actually she got the same treatment that a person who is not a public servant would have gotten under the exact same circumstances. Good for her and I hope she gets a ride next time. Just because you are a public servant you do not have to give up your personal life.

        • Bill

          Completely agree John. She should be held to a higher degree but not prosecuted differently then any one else. Having been bashed severely by the public to go along with the punishment she will receive from the courts is enough.
          I wish her well.

        • Arietta Sullivan

          i don’t agree.i feel if it was someone like me in the same shoes as her,i would have got charge with reckless op for hitting that fire hydrate&i would have got charge with a drug charge.a police officer is suppose to check the inside of their cruiser every time a transport is in and out of their car especially out so the next person doesn’t get wrongfully charged. i sure in the hell wouldn’t walk out with only paying $600&my license suspended.my understanding even someone’s first dui charge,it’s waaaay over $600.this was unfair but no whining is never going to change the phase ‘it isn’t who you know,it’s who you b*^$’ she’s not expected to give up her personal life but she is expected to follow all the laws like you and me.

          • stillsleepyeyes

            First DUI is 375.00 fine 90 days suspended license, and everything doubles from there…………….pretty standard charge…………..money maker for the courts and intervention programs………….

          • Arietta Sullivan

            damn then a few people i knew that got charged with their first dui got the short end of the stick.they paid out more then $375. myself,after my one lesson learned in 1992,i was 19.i remembered paying well over $375 let alone $600&had to pay to reinstate my license&the intervention program,in which,i only did cause it was ordered not cause i need it my lesson learned cause on that night was my ‘wake up’ call.i’m totally against&have been for many of years with drinking&driving. anyways,now,after what you’re telling me..the laws has not got stricter for dui’s since 1992?? pretty sad,when they lay posterboards&so much other types of advertisements&infor.,for the public&the penalty has stayed the same or in some cases,gets less consequences.

          • stillsleepyeyes

            They are a lot stricter east of Elyria, but in Elyria court that’s the norm. move in and get out…………..collect that money…….

          • Arietta Sullivan

            true well lorain got enough of my money that terrible day in 1992. i had so much remorse that they haven’t got any more of my money lol but yea Elyria courts is about equal to what you’re saying too

          • Arietta Sullivan

            sorry just re-read and saw the word ‘double’.my fault for misunderstanding. i could be just not having enough infor nowadays with the laws on drinking&driving probably cause i don’t concern myself with it since we just stay home when we decide to drink. the consequences that this woman/mayor got wasn’t so much of a beef,in my book,as why she didn’t get charge for reckless op&a drug charge.that there wasn’t a fair outcome.you or me would have got all the charges on us,not one would have been dropped.

          • stillsleepyeyes

            True that, common folk don’t get those kind of breaks……….

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Yes you would have gotten Reckless Opp, which happens to be less severe than a DUI. IN fact, it is what most first time DUI’s get reduced to. Ms. Flanigan actually pled no contest to the DUI. SO she took a stiffer penalty than you would and you are still not happy?

          • Arietta Sullivan

            no i was saying reckless op&any other charges along with the dui. it wasn’t just one law that was broken.i could be wrong but i thought maybe the more laws you break,in one incident,the stiffer&harsher the penalty,as in fines,court costs,jail time etc. i was thinking that’s why people got charged with additional crimes on top of the major crime,if all was committed&proven guilty. and a hair follicle test only proves that she didn’t/doesn’t do drugs,doesn’t proof IF it was in her possession. the fire hydrant that was hit,i thought,people would get charged with reckless op or failure to control.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            First time offenders. She had the other charges dropped and plead no contest to the DUI. Just like a person who gets just a DUI has it plead down. It is all about being a first time offender. She got the exact same treatment any other first time offender gets.

          • goomba

            Great mind’s think alike, I’m so glad i’m not the only Ranter lol!

      • stop ur whining part deux

        Fair is fair. She broke the law and is paying for it. Why should their be harsher special laws for her because she is a politician? Everyone is up in arms all the time saying that politicians get special treatment and it is not fair…well, that door swings both ways. She, like thousands of other people got a DUI. She like thousands of others got the charges reduced.

        Sounds about right to me.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Maybe her and Mantini can car pool to the driver
    intervention classes.

    • goomba

      I don’t think that is considered a “work privelidge’ lol

  • TP_WSoM

    It’s time for Mayor Flanigan to step down.

    • Ruby Thomas Kloss

      She’s not going to step down, they never do….and when the next election rolls around the good residents of the Village of Grafton will forget all about this incident and vote her back in office………….sooo predictable.

      • Peter Aldrich

        She should not step down!,,,

      • John Davidson

        I hope you are correct. As mayor she is doing a great job.

  • Sis Delish

    Which Municipal Judge just initiated/returned a Favor? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • bigmacky

    meh – figures

    • goomba

      Ur’ funny!

  • Guest

    I could go on about this case forever!! I feel a “RANT” coming on! First of all, I understand that any human is capable of getting a DUI, BUT this woman is a public friggin figure, so yes it was publicized more than the average DUI. And I did have a DUI a long time ago, back when the limit was .08 and I blew a .06 so, if it were the same as today’s law, I would have been barely over half the legal limit, But I was still charged, and guess who my attorney was, LOL, yes Jack Bradley! I was able to plea down to reckless operations, got 4 points on my license because it was an ‘ALCOHOL RELATED”

  • Guest

    goomba • a few seconds ago
    I could go on about this case forever!! I feel a “RANT” coming on! First of all, I understand that any human is capable of getting a DUI, BUT this woman is a public friggin figure, so yes it was publicized more than the average DUI. And I did have a DUI a long time ago, back when the limit was .08 and I blew a .06 so, if it were the same as today’s law, I would have been barely over half the legal limit, But I was still charged, and guess who my attorney was, LOL, yes Jack Bradley! I was able to plea down to reckless operations, got 4 points on my license because it was an ‘ALCOHOL RELATED” Reckless Op. I had a work privlidge license and had to go to the good old ‘DRUNK WEEKEND”

  • goomba

    I could go on about this case forever!! I feel a “RANT” coming on! First of all, I understand that any human is capable of getting a DUI, BUT this woman is a public friggin figure, so yes it was publicized more than the average DUI. And I did have a DUI a long time ago, back when the limit was .08 and I blew a .06 so, if it were the same as today’s law, I would have been barely over half the legal limit, But I was still charged, and guess who my attorney was, LOL, yes Jack Bradley! I was able to plea down to reckless operations, got 4 points on my license because it was an ‘ALCOHOL RELATED” Reckless Op. I had a work privlidge license and had to go to the good old ‘DRUNK WEEKEND” anyways, I paid Jack almost 1500 dollars to help me and in the end on top of paying for a lawyer I had almost 1500 in fines also, plus of course insurance rates went up, and a license reinstatement fee, which was also outrageous back then, Now, it is 2014, and The Mayor of Grafton, get a DUI, with property damage, being a city official, and has a freeflowing pill floating around in the police car?? What is wrong with this picture? She took out a fire hydrant, destroying public property, which cold have been a person! Drove the car home, wrecked at that, then is so wasted that she decides she want’s to go on another JOY RIDE, to go see a friend?? I wonder where this friend lived? I am only guessing who this friend may be, but I heard she was good friends with her lawyer in the case, somewhere along the line! Anyways, she goes back out to see a friend in a previously wrecked UNSAFE vehicle, being an UNSAFE citizen, to go to a friend’s house in BFE, and get’s arrested during this second venture, maybe still unaware of the original VENTURE home, where she should have stayed, doing enough damage in the first place, and I also know for a fact that the police officer’s search their vehicles after every transport!! So one more thing, drug test was passed, by extensively checking her for drugs with a hair test? I want to see proof of this, because if they didn’t find drugs in her system, it was a faulty test, Because why the HELL would she have had a NARCAN pill? Even though it was only 1 pill, and it didn’t show up in a drug screen, It WAS NOT her’s? Then, what the HELL was intention driving around with it in her possession anyways? Maybe selling it? Or even giving it away, That is ILLEGAL also, so Why may I ask? WHY? I being a normal citizen would have never got out of that one, and never had a fine like that, nor would I have a lawyer that I am in Ka-Hoot’s with! I betcha on top of everything, that Jack was either free to help her, or really really really CHEAP! I can go on with these double standard’s all day, I would like the Chronicle to Obtain her Drug Test, and the receipt for her DUI school, Gee I wish I coulda been a fly on the wall that weekend! If that weekend ever happened, I would feel much better if there is proof to the public regarding some of her defenses regarding this matter, Dropping that Drug Charge, was UNCALLED for!!! I am just baffled that this is even possible, because now, the Mayor being a public figure and all is getting off the hook, that makes the other local citizen’s begin to think they are invincible and they can hop in their car’s and get pulled over for a DUI, and if I were them I would say, well if the grafton Mayor can get away with it, then why can’t I? Or, they can call up Jack Bradley’s office and say Well Uhmm,,I just got a DUI and I want you to do me a great job kinda like you did for the Grafton Mayor, or even name it after her, Um Mr. Bradley, I was wondering if you can help me with a “Grafton Mayor’s” charge, LOL! If I were her I sure wouldn’t wanna be a public figure anymore, and I’m sure that there is regret there, but she may as well gotten away with 4th Degree Murder! That’s a joke by the way!! Ok, well, I hope the “first offender dui’s” don’t increase over this matter, and if I find out any of them have 1 narcotic pill on them, they sure the hell better get that charge dropped as well, even if it’s not Mr. Bradley representing them! Otherwise, I may cause some additional trouble wandering around here on the chronicle’s website! I hope I have offended no one, but if you are unlucky getting a dui, call Jack Bradley, tell him you want the Mayor’s rate, and tell them you were charged for the same thing and see what happen’s next! Good Luck,and please Don’t Drink and Drive! I learned my lesson as my story states above!

    • John Davidson

      Now that we know how you feel about this, what the heck are you smoking?

    • jz

      There is no way to prove the pill was hers because other people have been in that car prior to that night. Just because she was the only one “that night’, does not mean that perhaps the last officer to use that car did not search it well enough before he turned it over to the next shift. Or, the officer who at the beginning of this particular shift did not search the car either. Police depts have protocols to do this for obvious reasons that don’t need explaining here. So you rant that she should have been charged for the pill just got shot down. Plus, her hair was negative for opiods.

      • Joe Smith

        Actually thats exactly how they charge someone for items they find in a cruiser.

        The car is searched before a shift and after every time they place someone in the back. ( supposed to anyway) so they can tell if someone dumps items in the car, people are charged for items like this every day.

        Searching the car after she was placed in it is I assume how they found the pill in the first place.

        • jz

          We are agreeing. Only that perhaps in this case someone cannot testify under oath that the car was searched prior to that nite shift, or, maybe a log verifying it was searched was not signed. Something like that which could be another explanation why the pill charge was dropped.

          • goomba

            You’re right about that, but they are “supposed’ to search their cruiser between each person, not shift…I have family on the force, trust me the question was asked…Oh well, at least I’m not going to be, nor ever will be in her current position EVER!

      • goomba

        I’s so so sure it was negative, and have we seen that test? or the signed police log, whether or not it was for her benefit or NOT?

        • jz

          I would imagine the prosecutor seeing the test results. I guess we have to trust the police regarding the police log.