Judge says Rodeman impeding court case
Former Oak Creek mayor ordered to pay for some costs in lawsuit delay
November 10, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Former Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman took a $5,500 hit in court after a judge ruled that she "continued to frustrate and impede the discovery process" in her lawsuit against the town of Oak Creek and former police officer Erik Foster.
Rodeman is seeking damages stemming from a 2008 arrest. Foster reportedly tried to pull over Rodeman as she drove home from a bar. She reportedly ran into her house, and Foster used a stun gun on her as he arrested her.
During the case's deposition process, attorneys asked about the marijuana found in Rodeman's car that night.
Gordon Vaughan, representing Oak Creek, said Rodeman denied using marijuana that night but said one of her companions smoked some of it before they went to a bar.
When asked about the marijuana, Rodeman said she did not want to say the name of her dealer because she did not want them to get in trouble. Two court orders later, Rodeman identified her dealer as a man who died in December 2008. She said she also bought marijuana one time from a man she knew only as "Mr. Ice."
Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe wrote in his finding that it was clear Rodeman knew her dealer was dead and that she was impeding the process.
Rodeman did not have a medical marijuana license at the time, Vaughan said, but Rodeman said her doctor told her she could buy marijuana from any person who has it. Lawyers questioned the doctor, who denied giving that advice, Vaughan said.
Watanabe said Rodeman's actions caused more depositions and more work for the attorneys and ordered her and her attorneys, Steamboat Springs-based Kris Hammond and Adam Mayo, to pay some of Vaughan's fees.
Watanabe excluded Hammond and Mayo from the order after they objected on the basis that Rodeman did not tell them that her dealer was dead. Hammond did not return calls Tuesday afternoon seeking comment.
Vaughan calculated his costs at $5,500, an amount the judge has yet to approve, according to filed court documents.
Vaughan said he was reluctant to go into details of the case out of concern for Rodeman's privacy, but he said the issue of her marijuana use was questioned because it "could impact claims of psychological injury."
The case is scheduled to go to trial April 18.
— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org