Stow officials met Thursday night to vote on the authorization to hire the law firm, Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder, Co., LPA to sue Chelsea Garrett.
In a close vote of 4-3, the city decided to move forward to hire the law firm.
Garrett brought a police brutality claim against the city in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. During the mediation process, the city’s insurance carrier made a decision to settle the lawsuit for $100,000. As part of that settlement, Garrett signed a non-disclosure agreement; however, Garrett broke the terms of that agreement by supplying a information to television sources and social media outlets.
Before the voting, grandparents Roger and Joan Lash were present for the meeting and gave emotional speeches on behalf of their granddaughter.
“This taser incident has been a nightmare for my family and has nearly destroyed Chelsea and her mother,” Joan Lash said during her speech. “Yes, she foolishly, went on television and my family apologizes for that. Her comments have little effect compared to the damage you will do by voting to sue this girl. I ask you to have some compassion and common sense of. I want this nightmare to end.”
According to a story on Fox8.com, Garrett was punched in the chest and tasered several times. However, Stow city’s press release stated Garrett was involved in a hit-skip accident on state Route 8 in Akron and was tased only after refusing several times to comply to officers.
“These decision you make on council - sometimes you wish there was a guide,” said Mike Rasor, council at-large.
Rasor stated during the meeting he had a change of heart over the last few days regarding his vote and voted against hiring the law firm.
“We got wronged by this girl who went on the air and did that, but there’s no money we can get from her in my estimation. So we’re not forgiving a debt, we’re more just saying, ‘we’re going to let this die,’ and I think in a way we should let it die,” said Mike Rasor, council at-large. “I don’t agree with what her grandparents said. Our officers were 100 percent in the right But anger is never a good reason to go into court and I think that’s what’s going on here.”
For more on the background of the lawsuit, click here.