Harig cleared of charges, now considers suing city

Feb 13, 2017

Former Buffalo School Board candidate Austin Harig is considering a possible lawsuit against the city. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Harig is claiming he falsely arrested last August. 

Austin Harig in Buffalo City Court in July of 2016 for a separate arrest.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

On February 2 an Erie County Grand Jury cleared Harig of gang assault.  The charges were logged against him last summer, August 2016, when a fight broke at his south Buffalo home on Zittel Street.

Buffalo Police arrested Harig accusing him of allegedly assaulting Brett Garlock.  Harig spent 12-days at the Erie County Holding Center. 

But Harig's attorney James Ostrowski tells WBFO News he filed paperwork Monday for a claim against the city accusing police of a false arrest.

Austin Harig at Buffalo School Board meeting.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Mike Desmond

“The negative publicity, which arises from a false arrest. The incarceration, the physiological trauma of a young person going through this, and for now reason,” explained Ostrowksi. 

Harig claims he actually assisted and aided Garlock after he was assaulted by a third party when police responded to the incident at Harig's home.

“What matters is was their probable cause to arrest and charge, and there was not,” stated Ostrowski. “You can’t undo the extensive media coverage. There’s really no way to undo any of that and that’s what I think the defendants will have to answer for in court.”  

But it was also the second arrest for Harig in 2016. He was arrested in early June of 2016 accused of serving alcohol to minors and, at the time, faced misdemeanor charge.  In September Those charges were also dismissed by the courts due to a lack of proof. 

Austin Harig during his election challenge.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

You may recall the 18-year-old Harig lost in a very close race against Park District school board member Carl Paladino in May of 2016.