Investigator Exclusive: Money decided in strip-search lawsuit

11:17 AM, Jun 19, 2010   |    comments
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Steffey is the Stark county woman who sued Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson, accusing his deputies of using brutal and excessive force.

Video that Channel 3 News obtained shows that both male and female deputies forcibly removed her clothes inside the county jail.

Steffey said deputies left her completely naked for six hours.

Steffey's lawsuit against the county was settled and now all the money issues have been resolved in the case.

The insurer for the county told Channel 3 News that Steffey and her lawyers received $475,000.

Of that, Steffey says she received $100,000.

The county contested the legal fees for Steffey's lawyers, but a court-appointed mediator settled the dispute.

The insurance company said it cost $230,086 to defend the case. The county had to pay a $100,000 deductible.

The total cost to defend and settle the Steffey lawsuit was more than $705,000.

Steffey told The Investigator Tom Meyer that she's glad the case is over, but she's not happy with the way it ended because she says the jail never instituted any significant reforms.

Sheriff  Swanson's office failed to return a phone call or respond to an email requesting comment on the matter.

Stark County Administrator Michael Hanke declined comment.

The cost of insurance has gone up dramatically in Stark County.  Premiums jumped from $34,261 in 2008 to $195,350 this year.

Another possible factor for the hike in premiums may involve the case of Valentina Dyshko.

She's the mother of eight who sued the county, claiming she was improperly strip-searched and mistakenly placed on suicde precaution in the county jail.

The case was settled. The county had to pay another $100,000 deductible in that case.    

WKYC-TV

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