Bettio Seeking Money from Stow After Disorderly Conduct Charge Dismissed
After a charge that was filed in May went to trial and was dismissed, William Bettio is seeking $1,800 from the city to cover the costs he incurred.
William Bettio was charged with disorderly conduct by the Stow Police Department in May, but after pleading not guilty and disputing the charge, it was dismissed by Stow Municipal Court Judge Kim Hoover. Bettio is now seeking money from the city through a moral claim for costs incurred during the trial.
According to the May police report, former Transportation Supervisor John Daymon reported a 47-year-old Charring Cross Drive man was blocking buses from leaving the high school by standing in front of them. The report also said the man was swearing at a bus driver while students were on the bus.
During Monday's City Council meeting, Bettio told council he disputed the charge because he said the officer who wrote the ticket did not interview any witnesses on his side and because he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
According to Law Director Brian Reali, a legal finding on whether the actions constituted a definition of unreasonable and unlawful was the reason the case was dismissed.
"[The officer] never got any side of my story or any of my witnesses to what was going on that day," said Bettio. "He only took the statement from the transportation supervisor and never went to any of mine."
Reali said, "My file does have a statement from a witness supporting Bettio. It also has statements from a student and two bus drivers about his conduct that day."
Through a moral claim, Bettio is now requesting the city pay for the costs he incurred during the trial that was dismissed.
Reali said Bettio originally requested $2,840 in the moral claim, but recently subtracted the money he would have made at work for three days from the total. Bettio is now seeking $1,800 from the city.
Council is expected to vote on the issue Thursday night. A majority vote is necessary for it to pass.
If passed, the $1,800 will come out of the general fund.
Reali reminded council that the moral claim procedure does not have a strict legal analysis for these situations. "It’s what the city feels is fair and just as long as the decision isn’t considered to be whimsical or a gift," the law director said.
He added that the board of control recommended not paying the moral claim.
For follow up information after Thursday's meeting, check Stow Patch.