City pays $100K over cop’s conduct, now faces claim from him

by Walter Olson on December 6, 2013

Washington: “A Lake Stevens police officer who was at the center of a civil rights lawsuit that cost the city $100,000 filed a claim Monday alleging city officials mishandled the lawsuit and tarnished his reputation. … ‘The cumulative result of the City’s errors is that Warbis has been continually portrayed as a rogue and hot-headed cop, something that is completely contrary to the truth and case facts,’ according to the claim. … The claim does not spell out how much money the police officer is seeking, however, it says ‘a seven-figure-damages judgement is not unreasonable.'” [Everett Herald]

{ 5 comments }

1 Hugo S. Cunningham 12.07.13 at 8:51 am

Congress should, as part of a civil rights act, make it easier for States and localities to discharge dangerous or bullying cops without regard to union contracts or civil service rules. There should be safeguards for an honest cop targeted by a corrupt administration, but the difference is usually obvious.

2 MARTY MURPHY 12.07.13 at 2:14 pm

As a NYC resident and taxpayer, I see a positive effect in this turnabout.

Too many government agencies are settling merit-less lawsuits in order to avoid the costs of litigation, leaving the blame-less officer in the lurch. The news media interprets these settlements as ‘proof’ of the officer’s malfeasance and vindication of the accuser. It also encourages predatory lawyers to bring even more lawsuits that have no real merit.

If the officer can turn around and sue the agency that abandoned him, it will give the agency a good reason not to settle.

3 Boblipton 12.08.13 at 9:42 am

As another New York City taxpayer, Marty, I have a slightly more jaundiced view of the matter. I don’t see enough information to determine whether Lake Stevens hung the officer out to dry or whether the cop did as charged. All I know is that the tax payers are going to pay off everyone, regardless of who did what to whom.

Bob

4 Robert L. Cerra 12.14.13 at 6:42 am

Good for the police officer. It is encouraging to see officers claim the same rights that individuals are granted. Claims of civil rights violations are sometimes used to mask some crime or inappropriate behavior, or mount a defense when no other one is available.

5 Vern Dennis 12.14.13 at 10:04 am

The police officer should file suit against the individual who fied the civil rights complaint, if indeed it was baseless. That’s the person who slandered him

If it wasn’t baseless, then this is the very definition of a frivolous lawsuit and should be vigorously defended

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