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The Suburbanite
  • Drunk driving charges dropped, Plain trustee wants apology

  • Plain Township Trustee Scott Haws wasn’t driving drunk when North Canton police charged him last month, and he wants an apology.

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  • Plain Township Trustee Scott Haws wasn’t driving drunk when North Canton police charged him last month, and he wants an apology.
    Haws appeared Wednesday before Canton Municipal Court Judge Stephen Belden who dismissed a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of them.
    Haws pleaded no contest to violating marked lanes, a traffic offense, and was ordered to pay court costs.
    Outside the courtroom, Haws said he never drinks and drives, has never taken illegal drugs and would never do anything to jeopardize the trust of Plain Township residents.
    “The worst part of this is my reputation has been sullied for absolutely no reason,” he said.
    Police cited Haws on Sept. 8 after an early morning traffic stop on E. Maple Street near Market Avenue N.
    Haws said he passed multiple breath tests after the stop and submitted to a urine test, which also was negative for drugs and alcohol.
    On the advice of his attorney, Jeffrey Jakmides, Haws then got a 90-day hair test. Again, the results were negative for drugs.
    Late last week, special prosecutor Robert Zedell asked the court to dismiss the OVI charge for lack of evidence based on the test results.
    Police cruiser video before the stop showed Haws weaving, but not in a way that endangered other motorists, and “obviously it wasn’t due to imbibing any alcohol or drugs,” said Zedell, an assistant Massillon prosecutor appointed to the case after Canton prosecutors recused themselves.
    Jakmides has said the police should have waited for results from the urine test before filing the OVI charge, and Haws said the department should examine its policies and procedures.
    In a written statement, Haws specified that he wants North Canton and its police department to issue a written apology at a public meeting “for wrongfully stopping me and for charging me with OVI based on absolutely no evidence...” and an acknowledgment “that this entire ordeal happened because of the refusal of anyone in charge to step in and admit to their mistake.”
    When asked about Haws’ demand, North Canton Police Chief Stephan Wilder said he would be deciding how to respond. He has previously said his officers acted properly.