South Beloit lawsuit settled

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A settlement is apparently reached in a lawsuit filed by a woman who was seen being choked and tased in a South Beloit Police Department video.

South Beloit Mayor Michael Duffy said the city's insurance company is handling the lawsuit filed by Veronica McIntire.

"I had heard they have an agreement," Duffy said, regarding a settlement in the case.

He said the decision to settle is up to the city's insurance firm and the attorney they hire. The city council has been informed of the progress of the legal action, but he does not expect the council will have a say in the settlement.

Duffy said the insurance firm will pay the settlement amount, but he doubts the amount will be made public.

Patrick Moore, attorney for Veronica McIntire, said he cannot comment on the settlement as all matters have yet to be finalized.

"South Beloit has begun to move towards the future by taking steps to ensure that they will never again be the source of such a scandal," Moore said. "However, I do not believe anyone can move on until they have made amends for the harms they caused. I cannot comment on the specifics as nothing has been finalized, but the city has extended a proposal that will allow this matter to be put to rest."

Dominick Lanzito, the attorney representing the city's insurance firm, was called by the Beloit Daily News for comment, but the call was not returned Friday.

McIntyre is seen in a police video filmed on May 8, 2008 at the South Beloit Police Department. Former Police Sgt. Brad McCaslin is seen using a taser on the handcuffed woman twice. Later in the video, former Police Chief Tom Fearn is seen grabbing her by the throat and holding her down and shaking her. McIntire was arrested on charges of endangering the life/health of a child, domestic battery and resisting an officer.

McIntire's civil lawsuit was filed in Northern District of Illinois Federal Court in Rockford in April of 2011 naming Fearn, McCaslin and South Beloit Police Officer Sandy Messenger as defendants. In June, the lawsuit was amended to include former South Beloit Mayor Randy Kirichkow, as well as former city council members Robert Redieske, Robert Stone, Pam Clifton and Ryan Griffin.

In 2010, McCaslin and his attorney, Richard Blass, threatened legal action against the City of South Beloit claiming he was owed unpaid overtime and back pay. As part of a settlement agreement reached with McCaslin, the video of McIntire's arrest was mentioned. McCaslin promised to return the video to the city and he promised not to make copies of it or show it to others.

On April 29, 2011, the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office announced charges against Kirichkow, Fearn and McCaslin in relation to the McIntire case. Fearn was charged with aggravated battery, armed violence, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. McCaslin was charged with aggravated battery, armed violence, insurance fraud, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. Kirichkow was charged with obstruction of justice and official misconduct. All three men have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

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