Former mayor's civil case proceeds

Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman's claims could be settled or go to trial

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— The court fight between a former Oak Creek mayor and the town of Oak Creek proceeded into federal district court, with a settlement conference scheduled for Nov. 10. If no settlement is reached, the case will go to a jury trial, probably in late 2010.

Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman sued the town of Oak Creek, along with its two police officers and each of the five Oak Creek Town Board members, in connection with an incident in July 2008 when Erik Foster, a town police officer at the time, reportedly used a Taser on Rodeman in her home.

Rodeman initially sued both police officers individually and as officers, the town of Oak Creek, and each of the seven Town Board trustees individually and in their official capacities.

In late September, Rodeman's attorney, Kris Hammond, and defense attorney Gordon Vaughan jointly submitted a request to remove the Town Board members from the suit.

The judge granted the motion, and the case now includes only the town, Foster and former Police Chief Russ Caterinicchio.

Vaughan, reached at his office in Colorado Springs by telephone, said the case is proceeding in court but declined to discuss how much money was being sought. Hammond was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon, but in the past he has said "the more zeros the better," in terms of money in the case.

Rodeman also said she did not want to comment on the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Philip Brimmer referred the case to Magistrate Judge Michael Watanabe, and a deadline for discovery materials was set for June 14, 2010.

The case that was filed in county court, before it was removed to district court, included 12 complaints, as summarized by Vaughan.

Those were: assault, battery, trespass, false imprisonment and arrest, violation of civil rights, and extreme and outrageous conduct by Foster; extreme and outrageous conduct, violation of civil rights, and improper training and supervision, by Caterinicchio; and improper training, supervision and retention, and violation of civil rights by the Town and the Town Board. The complaint also sought to hold the town and Town Board accountable for the police officers' actions.

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