Suit against sheriff, captain settled for $290,000

 Suit against sheriff, captain settled for $290,000

MANSFIELD — Despite a $290,000 settlement, Mark Drum calls his false arrest by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office the reason he is retiring this year. “It was a tough thing for me and my family,” said Drum, a labor negotiator for the Fraternal Order of Police.

The News Journal obtained the settlement figure through a public records request. Richland County Commissioner Gary Utt lamented the lawsuit, which named Sheriff Steve Sheldon and Capt. Eric Bosko as defendants. The suit was dismissed because of the settlement.

“Anytime we get sued, it’s certainly a loss of revenue to residents,” he said. “We could be using that money in a more positive way.”

Utt said insurance would lessen the impact. It won’t be long before your policy is cancelled!

“We have our insurance through CORSA (County Risk Sharing Authority),” he said. “We have to pay the first $2,500. CORSA pays the rest.” Dan Downey, an attorney for the sheriff’s office, explained the role of CORSA.

“It’s a self-funded pool of which Richland County is a member,” he said. “It’s not coming from the coffers of Richland County.”

Bosko’s report said Drum took possession of a GPS unit that was part of an investigation of sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Viars, who was accused of operating a security alarm company while on duty. The case went to federal court, where Magistrate Nancy Vecchiarelli criticized Bosko’s investigation in her report and recommendation. “No reasonable and prudent officer in Bosko’s situation could have believed that he had probable cause to arrest Drum,” she wrote. Vecchiarelli said a reasonable juror could find that Bosko’s conduct was “reckless.”

Downey said Sheldon and Bosko “respectfully disagree” with parts of the magistrate’s recommendation.

“That’s all it was, a recommendation, not a judgment,” the attorney said. Downey noted the settlement was not an admission of liability or responsibility, and defended Bosko. “The sheriff says he’s one of the finest law enforcement officers that he’s ever worked with, and that the county is fortunate to have his services,” Downey said. Utt regretted that the case went as far as it did.

“I know it’s everybody’s right to file suits,” he said. “It’s a shame that the county gets caught in the middle of it. It was the sheriff’s department, not the county, per se, even though the sheriff is one of ours.” Drum, who praised his treatment by corrections officers during his brief time in the county jail, said he is ready to move on. “This is behind us now,” he said.

Written by

Mark Caudill

News Journal

Comments that were NOT ALLOWED on their site????

Phil Sydnor · Top commenter · Public Scrutiny

“We have our insurance through CORSA (County Risk Sharing Authority),” he said. “We have to pay the first $2,500. CORSA pays the rest.” Dan Downey, an attorney for the sheriff’s office, explained the role of CORSA. “It’s a self-funded pool of which Richland County is a member,” he said. “It’s not coming from the coffers of Richland County.” This is true!, but with ALL the Lawsuits of late and currently pending it won’t be long until the PREMIUMS go up!. If this continues CORSA will surely have to go bankrupt or drop their coverage. Abuse of the legal system has Richland County facing a huge pickle coming down the pike. The GOOD NEWS is…those who are causing it are either retiring or getting FIRED!. Maybe this falls election we can get rid of a few more elected officials who are causing the rest?. A certain Judge and Prosecutor though need someone to run against them, running unopposed is a problem!.

22 March at 09:03

Phil Sydnor · Top commenter · Public Scrutiny

I wonder why Utt doesn’t advise what the premiums cost to have this insurance and what pays for it?. I’m willing to bet it’s their .25% safety tax that STEALS $6 million from the economy that does it, any takers?.

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· 22 March at 09:31

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