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-   -   News Suit Claims Officer Faked D.U.I. Cases (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=268491)

Bwana 01-04-2013 02:03 PM

Suit Claims Officer Faked D.U.I. Cases
 
What a ****. :shake:

There was a time not so long ago when Lisa Steed’s stock as a corporal in the Utah Highway Patrol was soaring.

Passionate about police work, with a wide smile and a notable number of driving-under-the-influence arrests to show for her diligence, Corporal Steed was named trooper of the year by her superiors in 2007, her career seemingly heading toward the inevitable promotions.

In November, however, the once promising officer was fired amid a haze of misconduct allegations.

Though the Highway Patrol would not discuss Ms. Steed’s dismissal, a lawsuit claims she falsified dozens of those arrests during her 10-year career.

According to the suit, filed Dec. 14 in District Court in Salt Lake County, Ms. Steed made a career of pulling over drivers who she claimed were driving drunk or under the influence.

There was only one problem. Some of the drivers Ms. Steed arrested had not been drinking, or at least not enough to be reasonably impaired, according to the lawsuit, brought by a group of Utah lawyers on behalf of two plaintiffs.

In several cases, those who were arrested did not drink alcohol, said Robert Sykes, one of the lawyers who filed the complaint, which names Ms. Steed and the Highway Patrol as defendants.

“We were all separately getting calls about Lisa Steed from people saying: ‘I was pulled over. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. She told me I smelled like alcohol, but I hadn’t been drinking,’ ” Mr. Sykes said.
“They would pass the sobriety test with flying colors. But Steed would say they were still impaired and arrest them.”

Mr. Sykes and the other lawyers involved in the case said that they have spoken with more than 40 people who also claimed they were falsely arrested by Ms. Steed. It was part of a pattern the officer engaged in to burnish her reputation with superiors, the lawyers said.

In all of the cases, according to the lawyers, the charges were dropped or reduced, but not before drivers paid bail, car impound or court-related fees that typically exceeded $1,000.

Ms. Steed is in the process of appealing her firing. Her lawyer, Greg Skordas, while not commenting on specific arrests, said that the allegations were overblown and that the overwhelming majority of her arrests had stood up in court.

“She has made thousands of stops and thousands of arrests. She’s had a handful of cases that could really be counted on one hand that have not been supported by evidence,” he said.

“Any mistake by an officer is a problem, and we’re not excusing that. But to have two or three thrown out because of a lack of evidence, that doesn’t tell me there’s a problem.”

Last April, however, the Davis County attorney, Troy Rawlings, said he would dismiss cases where Ms. Steed was the primary investigator or witness. Sim Gill, district attorney for Salt Lake County, also said that he did not plan to prosecute cases involving Ms. Steed.

In a police memorandum from 2010, a Highway Patrol sergeant who reviewed 20 of Ms. Steed’s marijuana-impairment cases found she was indeed arresting drivers who had no drugs in their system.

In the memo, first reported by Salt Lake City news outlets, the sergeant said Ms. Steed would report that the drivers showed visual signs of impairment, and he worried defense lawyers would begin questioning her credibility.

In one 2011 case highlighted in the current lawsuit, Ms. Steed pulled over Thomas Romero in Layton, Utah, for swerving. According to the suit, Mr. Romero told the officer he had not been drinking and he passed several sobriety tests. But Ms. Steed arrested him anyway.

“I told her: ‘You’re making the biggest mistake of your life. I haven’t had nothing to drink,’ ” Mr. Romero recalled in an interview. “I couldn’t believe I was being arrested. I didn’t know what was going on.”

While being processed at the Davis County Jail, Mr. Romero passed a blood test. All charges were eventually dropped.

In another case, Ms. Steed pulled over Julie Tapia for speeding as she was driving home. Ms. Tapia was giving a ride to her ex-husband, who had been drinking, but Ms. Tapia herself does not drink, the suit said.

Ms. Steed claimed Ms. Tapia failed a field sobriety test and arrested her. But blood tests showed no presence of impairing drugs or alcohol in her system, according to the suit. The charges were ultimately dismissed.

Michael Studebaker, another lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said that he believes there are at least hundreds of additional tainted arrests involving Ms. Steed. “The 40 or so individuals that have contacted us have to be the tip of the iceberg because Steed arrested many other people,” he said. “Her actions are so blatant, that it is probable that she acted like this in an untold number of cases.”

A citizen review board is expected to hear Ms. Steed’s appeal over her firing in the coming months.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us...i-arrests.html
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Reerun_KC 01-04-2013 02:05 PM

This was on the news this morning...

Insane that she could get away with this...

notorious 01-04-2013 02:07 PM

She needs to hard time if this is true.

Taking away an innocent person's freedom, even for a short period, is absolutely horrific.

CoMoChief 01-04-2013 02:20 PM

Fire her and throw her ass in jail.....take away her drivers license for 10 yrs with no limited driving privileges.

You're purposely screwing w/ people's lives because you're on some sick power trip.

ct 01-04-2013 02:23 PM

send her to FloriDUH for a field body cavity exam

KILLER_CLOWN 01-04-2013 02:24 PM

Worthless without pics and yes throw her in a Male prison.

Donger 01-04-2013 02:25 PM

Utah, eh? Happy, shiny troopers holding hands.

DTLB58 01-04-2013 02:31 PM

I know of a case of a fake DUI that happened here to a relative of mine. Cost him $3,000 in lawyer fees and in the end the Judge threw it out and said in court this should have never happened!

There were 3 officers on scene and when a female officer tried to step and stop what the two male officers were doing she was told to STFU!

Johnny Vegas 01-04-2013 02:40 PM

Anymore you just need a good lawyer. Cops are willing to ruin lives for job promotion. It's thickening.

theelusiveeightrop 01-04-2013 02:42 PM

Tried to tell that cop I wasn't drunk.

Bwana 01-04-2013 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN (Post 9281456)
Worthless without pics and yes throw her in a Male prison.

Here you go, but remember, you asked for it. I think "she" may have a pecker.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/.../DWI-popup.jpg

Pin Head 01-04-2013 03:11 PM

Shame on her for and the blemish she put on a group of law abiding citizens AND her fellow officers.

sedated 01-04-2013 03:40 PM

And yet the first rule of the court is to always believe the cop over the perp.

Kudos to the judges that threw out all of her cases. Even if it only happened once (on purpose), she is left with zero credibility.

jspchief 01-04-2013 04:07 PM

I hope someone kills her.

Xanathol 01-04-2013 05:04 PM

I'm equally upset at the police office for allowing this go happen. When test show her arrest was false, she should have been reprimanded; second test, fired and possible charges. Why was she not arrested when they did finally catch on and fire her?!


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