Federal Civil Rights Complaint Amended to Include Police Chief
BELLAIRE — A federal civil rights complaint has been amended to include Bellaire Police Chief Dick Flanagan as a defendant.
According to a copy of the amended complaint, filed June 29 in United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, Flanagan has been named as a defendant, along with existing defendants the Village of Bellaire, Bellaire police Officer Gene Grimm and the Bellaire Police Department.
The original complaint against Grimm claimed that he forced a woman to perform a sexual act on him in exchange for not getting arrested for having a crack pipe in her purse. This allegedly occurred in February 2021.
According to the amended complaint, in May 2019, a different woman told Flanagan that Grimm was forcing her to perform a sexual act or else he would have children taken away from her.
The Times Leader is not publishing the name of either woman because of the sexual nature of the case.
The first woman told Flanagan that Grimm had been forcing her to perform sex acts for quite awhile and that she was tired of it.
Flanagan allegedly told the first woman that he would look into it and do something about it. However, Grimm allegedly continued to demand sexual favors through June 2019. The woman believed nothing was going to be done about Grimm’s behavior and that Flanagan was condoning it, according to the complaint.
“Fearing the worst would happen, (she) moved out of the state of Ohio to get away from them both,” the complaint states.
The complaint also states, “The de facto policies and/or customs alleged in this complaint, separately and together, are the proximate cause of the injury to plaintiffs, because Defendant Grimm had good reason to believe that his misconduct would not be revealed or reported by anyone, or that he would be immune from any type of disciplinary action, although his conduct was in fact reported to Defendant Flanagan regarding (the first woman).
“Defendant Flanagan knew, or should have known, to investigate (the first woman’s) report which would have prevented what happened to (the second woman).”
The complaint demands a jury trial.
Grimm has been placed on paid leave.
Flanagan declined to comment Tuesday on being named a defendant, adding that the village had not been notified of the amended complaint. When the village is notified, Flanagan said, he expects the village solicitor will issue a statement.
Village Solicitor Michael Shaheen said late Tuesday that village leaders had not yet had an opportunity to discuss the amended complaint.
“”We take each and every one of these allegations very seriously,” Shaheen said via text message. “Because of the timing of the filing of the amended complaint we have not yet had an opportunity to discuss the contents with Chief Flanagan. The same will be addressed on or before the next council meeting.”
Bellaire Village Council meets regularly at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month on the second floor of the municipal building.