North Canton Police Chief Stephan Wilder said his department won't apologize for doing their job.
Police will not apologize for charging a Plain Township official with drunken driving, an allegation that was dismissed this week.
“The North Canton Police officer followed standard protocol in this matter,” Chief Stephan Wilder said Thursday in a statement. “Its officers will continue this practice. It will not apologize for doing so.”
Wilder’s statement came a day after a prosecutor dropped the misdemeanor charge against Plain Township Trustee Scott Haws because a urine test came back negative for alcohol or drug use.
Haws said, “To say this is a standard procedure, that may be theirs. That doesn’t mean it’s the best procedure. ... 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.”
At 12:05 a.m. Sept. 8, Police Sgt. Douglas Cardwell stopped Haws at E. Maple Street near Market Avenue N after Cardwell, according to Wilder, saw “Haws committing several lane violations.”
Police cited Haws for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a lane violation and impounded his vehicle.
A judge dismissed the OVI charge Wednesday after his urine sample tested negative. Haws pleaded no contest to the lane violation.
“The city of North Canton is pleased that Haws was vindicated of the OVI charge,” Wilder’s statement said. “However, given the circumstances surrounding the reason for the traffic stop, and his behavior during the stop, the officer had probable cause to believe that he was impaired.
“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 ... ”
Haws’ attorney Jeffrey Jakmides said, “There’s no reason why they couldn’t have waited (to charge him) until they had the result of the urine test. ... sometimes people just can’t admit they made a mistake.”
He said while the cruiser video showed Haws’ two left tires touched the lane line, he wasn’t driving dangerously because his tires never completely crossed the line.
Haws said two officers administered multiple Breathalyzer tests, and when they all indicated no alcohol use, the officers accused him of failing to blow properly into the devices.
Haws said despite the dropping of the charge he lost $175 for the impound fee and $300 in court costs on top of legal fees.
A message seeking further comment was left for Wilder.