The families of the three Chardon High School students who were shot and killed in 2012 are now suing the United Way of Greater Cleveland and its Geauga County chapter for denying them access to the money set aside for them in the Chardon Healing Fund.
The lawsuit states that the families of Demetrius Hewlin, Russell King Jr., and Daniel Parmertor have received less than $150,000 of the nearly one million dollars available in the Chardon Healing Fund.
The families have requested for the judge to examine under Ohio law if this qualifies as a fair distribution of the trust.
The Chardon Healing Fund was established following the February 27, 2012 shootings at Chardon High School by the now convicted T.J. Lane. Hewlin, King Jr., and Parmertor were killed and three other students were injured.
United Way issued a statement this week stating that the funds are being used to fulfill the mission to aid the recovery of the entire Chardon community, which includes more than $417,000 that was distributed to the six families whose children were killed or injured.
The funds have been used to make home modifications, pay bills, and provide supportive and counseling services.
According to the attorney defending all three families in this lawsuit, a year after the families started receiving money from the fund, the United Way informed them that they would no longer receive anything to pay for recurring bills. However, there is no legitimate reason as to why the funds would discontinue.
As of February, according to chardonhealingfund.org, besides the $417,682 distributed to the families directly affected by the shooting, other fund expenses included:
• $90,000 for a school resource officer
• $27,512 for school and community healing activities
• $250,000 for behavioral health needs
• $46,513 for trauma training and support
• $120,807 was unallocated
T.J. Lane, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced March 19 to three life sentences with no chance for parole.