Oak Creek Town Board takes on Rodeman case
Former mayor sued after reported stun during arrest
July 27, 2010
Steamboat Springs — The Oak Creek Town Board will meet with insurance lawyers in executive session today to discuss the ongoing lawsuit with former mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman.
Rodeman was arrested in July 2008 on suspicion of driving under the influence. During the course of the arrest, she ran into her home, where then-Oak Creek Police Department officer Erik Foster used a stun gun to subdue her.
Rodeman sued the town and two of its former officers. Among the original complaints listed in the suit: 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 former Police Chief Russ 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.
At 4:30 this afternoon, Town Board members will meet with the town's insurance lawyer to discuss the case.
Town attorney Gordon Vaughan submitted a motion to the U.S. District Court on July 23 requesting dismissal of the case. He argued that the case should be dismissed because Foster was following the law as he attempted to arrest Rodeman. He also wrote that it would not be appropriate to support Rodeman's attempt to run into her house.
Rodeman's "behavior here should be recognized as being contrary to public policy. The fact that her actions required Foster to enter her home should not inure to her benefit."
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According to a partial transcript of an interview included in the filing, Rodeman said that she thought once she was in her house, the officer would need a warrant to pursue her.
Rodeman's attorney, Kris Hammond, said he and his client continue to claim that Foster entered the home illegally.
In the original complaint, Hammond wrote that, "as a direct result of the conduct of (Foster) … (Rodeman) endured electrical shock, pain, suffering, humiliation, scarring, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life."
Hammond said he could not talk about any possible settlement, and he is planning to file his response to the motion to dismiss soon.
The agenda for today's meeting with Vaughan and the Town Board does not include any other items and does not have any action items.
Oak Creek Town Clerk Karen Halterman said the meeting is only for the trustees to get advice from Vaughan.
If no settlement is reached before then, the final pretrial conference is scheduled for Sept. 9.