NORTH CANTON, Ohio - The North Canton Police Department will not apologize to a Plain Township trustee for arresting him on an OVI charge.
Plain Township Trustee Scott M. Haws was pulled over on Sept. 10 by a North Canton police officer. The department said Haws committed several lane violations near Maple Street East and Market Avenue North just after midnight.
The officer, believing that the trustee was driving while impaired, performed a drug test, police said. Haws was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence and a lane violation.
Weeks later, the results of the test determined there were no drugs or alcohol in Haws’ system, so the charges were dropped. Haws told NewsChannel5 he passed seven breathalyzer tests, the urinalysis and a third test, which he paid for himself.
The police department said Haws pleaded no contest to the lane violation and demanded a public apology from North Canton police for his arrest, which he said had “absolutely no evidence.”
“The officer treated Haws as he would any other citizen. Upon exhibiting signs of impairment-for his safety, and the safety of others-he was placed into custody, issued a summons, and was released to a responsible person, all within about an hour,” the city and police department said.
“The North Canton Police officer followed standard protocol in this matter. Its officers will continue this practice. It will not apologize for doing so,” the statement added.
On Friday, Haws issued the following statement to newsnet5.com:
"I fully respect the role law enforcement plays in securing the safety of our communities as in many situations where the officer pulls an individual over for suspected operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of a foreign substance may it be alcohol or drugs, that indeed someone is impaired. This is why I respected the judicial process and allowed it to vet out the details. In my specific situation from the beginning I informed the officer I was physically exhausted as I had been up 20 plus hour after a physically intense day of manual labor attributed to a 12 mile training run starting at 5am that morning, then proceeded by work at Pegasus Farms for the Stark County United Way Day of Caring where we cleared trails and torn down two barns. Unfortunately North Canton Police Department audio does not reflect no such discourse because there is only static on the video.
"To say what I went through was their standard procedure, that may be theirs however that doesn’t mean it’s the best procedure and I note that based upon feedback I received from other law enforcement representatives. ... I’m going to respectfully disagree that they got everything right because at the end of the day the OVI course of action was taken way too far, considering there was no verifiable test results to prove such impairment by alcohol or drugs and thus such charges where made on strictly a pending urinalysis test for drugs and alcohol."
Haws has been a Plain Township Trustee since 2010. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is the board director of the Stark County Land Reutilization Corporation, president of the board for the Stark County Township Association and a project manager at Diebold.
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