$75,000 paid in lawsuit

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A South Belot woman seen in a 2008 video being choked and tased by police at the South Beloit Police Department is being paid $75,000, according to a settlement agreement approved by the South Beloit City Council Monday.

Veronica McIntyre had sued the City of South Beloit as well as former South Beloit Police Chief Tom Fearn, former police Sgt. Brad McCaslin and current Police Officer Sandy Messenger, in April of 2011. She amended the lawsuit in June to include as defendants former Mayor Randy Kirichkow and former city council members Robert Redieske, Robert Stone, Pam Clifton and Ryan Griffin.

McIntyre was arrested on May 8, 2008 on charges of endangering the life and health of a child, domestic battery and resisting an officer. She is seen in a police video in handcuffs with her arms behind her back. McCaslin is seen applying a taser to her neck area and Fearn is seen later grabbing her by the neck and holding her down on a bench.

The funds paid in the settlement come from the city’s insurer, the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association (IMLRMA). Most of the attorney fees also are covered by IMLRMA.

South Beloit City Attorney Roxanne Sosnowski said Attorney Dominick Lanzito represented the city, as well as Kirichkow, Redieske, Stone, Clifton, Griffin, Fearn and Messenger. Attorney Laura Scarry represented McCaslin. Both Lanzito’s and Scarry’s services were paid for by the IMLRMA. Sosnowski said she provided some legal assistance in the case that was paid by the city.

McIntyre will be responsible for paying her attorney, Patrick Moore.

In the settlement agreement, it is stated the “defendants deny each and every allegation of wrongdoing as stated in the plaintiff’s amended complaint, and further deny liability.” The agreement also states the “settlement of this claim is not an admission of liability.”

Moore, of the Rockford law firm of Sreenan & Cain, said all parties found the agreement to be satisfactory.

“We believe the settlement is satisfactory to all parties involved and are happy that another step has been taken to put this incident behind everyone,” Moore said in an email to the Beloit Daily News. “Hopefully, this incident, the litigation and the criminal charges will help to ensure that local government in our community will operate with an appropriate level of transparency and accountability in the future.”

Fearn, McCaslin and Kirichkow face criminal charges filed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office relating to the McIntyre case. Fearn is charged with aggravated battery, armed violence, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. McCaslin is charged with aggravated battery, armed violence, insurance fraud, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. Kirichkow is charged with obstruction of justice and official misconduct. All three have pleaded not guilty.

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