Ludington council expected to settle suit with local criminal.

November 24, 2014
Malone

Malone

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

LUDINGTON — The city of Ludington has settled a lawsuit with a Ludington man who is currently serving time in prison for arson and stealing a vehicle. The lawsuit from Travis Malone, stems from an Aug. 2011 incident that involved the then-16-year-old who was intoxicated and out after curfew.

In Aug. 2013, a month after Malone was sentenced to prison for several separate incidents, he filed an excessive force lawsuit in federal court against the City of Ludington, Ludington Police Officer Matthew York and LPD Officer Aaron Sailor. Malone was asking for $500,000 in damages.

In July, 2013, Malone was sentenced 5 to 15 years in prison by 51st Circuit Court Judge Richard Cooper. On Oct. 17, 2012, Malone and Marshall Brault set a house on fire at the corner of Pere Marquette and William streets in the City of Ludington, stole a vehicle and then broke into the Wishing Well store near Pentwater. He was sentenced for arson and unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court. He had also been sentenced earlier in Oceana County’s 27th Circuit Court for his involvement in the Wishing Well breaking and entering.

The Ludington City Council was expected to approve a settlement with Malone during tonight’s city council meeting.

Malone is also serving a sentence from an Oceana County court in connection to the Wishing Well breaking and entering.

Malone’s lawsuit alleged that the Ludington officers violated his constitutional rights that night and used excessive force. Eventually Malone reduced damages to $250,000 and the city has agreed to settle the suit for $15,000, which will be paid through insurance.

“While the city is confident that a jury would decide in the city’s favor, there are no guarantees on the final outcome,” City Manager John Shay wrote to city council in a memo. “Furthermore, the $15,000 settlement is less than the cost to take this case through trial and defend any potential appeals.”

According to a brief, Malone was admittedly intoxicated that evening. Police found an empty liter of vodka in his backpack along with a set of brass knuckles in his front pocket.

“Mr. Malone resisted arrest forcing officers to place him on the ground twice,” the brief stated. “He was arrested for violating probation, carrying a concealed weapon, obstructing police and minor in possession of alcohol.”

Malone has a long history of criminal activity. In September 2012 he was sentenced to breaking and entering of Journey alternative high school on U.S. 10-31 in Amber Township. He was on probation when he committed the crimes starting Oct. 17, 2012.

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