Brady Center may defend county in gun-toting mom case
by MONICA VON DOBENECK, Of Our Lebanon County Bureau
Thursday December 04, 2008, 5:04 PM
CHRIS KNIGHT, The Patriot-News
Gun owner Meleanie Hain has sued Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo, the county and the sheriff's office for $1 million.The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has offered free legal representation to Lebanon County to defend against the $1 million lawsuit brought by Meleanie Hain.
Hain is the Lebanon woman who wore her loaded gun on her hip to her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game in September, causing other parents to become concerned. Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo subsequently revoked her license to carry a concealed weapon, but his decision was reversed by Lebanon County Court Judge Robert Eby.
The case has drawn national attention.
Hain sued DeLeo, the sheriff's office and the county Nov. 24 for reimbursement of attorney's fees, lost wages and emotional distress. Her Philadelphia area attorney, Matthew Weisberg, said Hain's baby-sitting business fell off after the publicity and she has been ridiculed by her neighbors.
The Brady Center, based in Washington D.C., is "the nation's largest grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence," according to the group's website. It is named for Jim Brady, who was wounded by a gunman along with President Ronald Reagan 25 years ago.
Lebanon County commissioners said they would have to check with attorneys and their insurance company before deciding whether to take the Brady Center up on its offer.