Saturday, January 17, 2009
Former Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman filed notice of her intent to sue the town earlier this week in connection with a July 19 incident that included Rodeman being stunned with a Taser by a former Oak Creek police officer.
The notice of intent to sue was served Wednesday to Oak Creek's town attorney Bob Weiss, said Kris Hammond, Rodeman's lawyer. The notice of intent simply preserves Rodeman's right to sue at a later date, Oak Creek Mayor J. Elliott said. By law, she had 180 days after her arrest to notify the town of such intent.
Rodeman and Weiss did not return calls for comment Friday.
Rodeman initially announced her intent to file a civil lawsuit Oct. 1 - the day the District Attorney's Office dropped all charges against her and her co-defendants. She said she planned to sue the town of Oak Creek, and possibly its former officers, seeking unspecified damages for allegations of excessive force, illegal entry and illegal searches.
Former Oak Creek Police Sgt. Erik Foster arrested Rodeman, 54, after he said she failed to use her turn signal and then fled from police. Foster is said to have pursued Rodeman into her home and then used a Taser to subdue and arrest her on suspicion of misdemeanor charges of eluding police, obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence per se, as well as a traffic infraction of failure to signal.
Charges also were dropped Oct. 1 against two other women involved in the incident. Shoshanna Montoya was arrested July 19 on suspicion of third-degree assault and obstructing a police officer for allegedly trying to prevent Foster from entering Rodeman's home. Tashena Montoya was cited for obstructing a police officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.
During a Sept. 10 hearing, a Colorado Department of Revenue hearing officer dismissed the driver's license suspension Rodeman faced after failing a Breathalyzer test on the night of her arrest. Foster resigned, along with former police Chief Russ Caterinicchio, the following day.
Rodeman and Hammond had appealed the suspension on the grounds that Foster's warrantless entry into Rodeman's home was unlawful.
During the Oct. 1 court hearing for the criminal charges, County Court Judge James Garrecht said prosecutors doubted they would have been able to prevail, and he approved motions dropping all charges in connection with the July 19 incident.
No hearings have been scheduled on the matter, and a copy of Rodeman's notice of intent to sue was not available Friday.
If Rodeman's lawsuit ultimately prevails, any settlement would be handled by the town's insurance company, town Trustee Chuck Wisecup said.