HURON, Ohio - The FOX 8 I-TEAM is investigating after a local mayor ordered a woman removed from a council meeting , saying she was being disruptive. This is something others in the meeting dispute.
"She had finished talking and was just sitting there when police came in," Michele Schuster told FOX 8. "The meeting had continued, she was not doing anything when the officers came in and ordered her to leave."
Cell phone video on social media shows Stacy Hinners, 40, being arrested, handcuffed and removed from Tuesday's Huron City Council meeting.
"This the kind of city they are running here folks," Hinners can be heard saying on the video, after she was handcuffed.
About five minutes before she was arrested, Hinners had spoke at the meeting saying she believed council approved bonuses for a city employee without discussing it in an open meeting.
Hinners and her husband filed a lawsuit Tuesday, prior to the meeting, against the mayor and council alleging violations of Ohio Public Meetings Act. The suit was filed in Erie County Common Pleas Court and alleges council awarded the city manager a performance bonus in the amount of $10,000 without discussing the matter in public.
The I-TEAM stopped at the city manager's office and left a message but he has not responded.
The I-TEAM also obtained Huron council video and audio from the council meeting, after filing a public record's request.
The video showed that Hinners had her back to council and talked to those in attendance about the issues addressed in the lawsuit.
Mayor Brad Hartung stopped Hinners from talking after three minutes. He said that was all the time given to citizens to speak. She asked for more time and he said no.
Hinners argued briefly with the mayor before sitting down. The meeting continued and other citizens addressed council. A few minutes later two Huron police officers entered the meeting and told Hinners she had to leave.
"It really bothers me how this was handled," Schuster said.
The I-TEAM obtained a copy of the police report which states the mayor told officers Hinners was disrupting the meeting and that he wanted her removed.
The officers wrote in the report that she was warned to leave multiple times.
The video shows the officers pushing Hinners up against the wall.
On the video from Huron council a man can be heard saying "come on this is ridiculous Brad," while Hinners is being arrested.
The Huron police chief told FOX 8 he believed his officers acted properly.
We tried contacting the mayor but he did not return our calls.
Hinners faces a misdemeanor charge of disturbing a lawful meeting. She is due in court Friday.
Hinners' attorney, Subodh Chandra, said he has asked the city to dismiss the charge.