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Nampa police lawsuit dismissed, settled for $189K

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Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 12:30 am | Updated: 11:24 am, Fri Apr 27, 2012.

© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune

NAMPA — A lawsuit by three officers against the Nampa Police Department has been dismissed, and attorney Jim Davis says the department is ready to begin the healing process.

The request for dismissal was filed Tuesday, after a $189,000 settlement was reached between the parties.

The purpose of the settlement was “to allow the police department to heal and move forward,” Davis, the attorney representing the department in the suit, said.

In the original lawsuit, officers Leonard Claunts, Joseph Huff and Curtis Shankel alleged that then-Chief Bill Augsburger and other administrators retaliated against them when they expressed concerns about department operations.

Mayor Tom Dale and Deputy Chief Craig Kingsbury were also named in the suit.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale authorized the dismissal Wednesday.

The dismissal was filed in “prejudice,” meaning all parties are released of liability and the case cannot be retried at a later date.

“Everything is released,” Davis said. “We’re just returning back to where we were.”

This does not mean, however, that the officers will be reinstated to the Internal Affairs division, where they claim they were intentionally transferred from after they expressed their concerns.

Claunts, Huff and Shankel claimed in the Sept. 2011 lawsuit that they were intimidated, threatened and reassigned to less-desirable positions after raising questions about waste and misconduct within the department.

The $189,000 settlement, as well as some other expenses related to the litigation, will be covered by the city's insurance. 

As of January, the suit had cost $75,000 above and beyond the city’s insurance. Nampa Finance Director Vikki Chandler said at the time that the additional expenses would come out of the city’s litigation budget.

The attorney for Claunts, Huff and Shankel — Erika Birch of Idaho Job Justice — could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

© 2015 Idaho Press-Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Welcome to the discussion.

4 comments:

  • Disgrace posted at 8:21 pm on Sun, May 20, 2012.

    Disgrace Posts: 3

    So here is what I am thinking. These three were given a "green light" on those Bill Augsburger tagged as undesireable. When brought other cases to the "King" ( he called himself this) they were told to look somewhere else and that they were looking for smoke when there was no fire. So as a result these three get 189,000 dollars from the city they currently work for and we, the public, get to know that we are paying for the department that has been spinning down the drain since 2009 to get a chance to heal in the nice big, brand new public safety building. Yay for us, the citizen takes it in the shorts again.

     
  • standalone2u posted at 10:32 am on Fri, Apr 27, 2012.

    standalone2u Posts: 5

    A "settlement was reached." Should the citizen's demand to know more about the settlement being that this is a government entity? What is the department "healing" from? Is this being handled any differently than were it private business?

     
  • Sawtooth46 posted at 8:51 am on Fri, Apr 27, 2012.

    Sawtooth46 Posts: 911

    Knowing only what I read in the paper, I still find it interesting that when these individuals, as Internal Affairs Officers, raise issues within the department about internal affairs, they get the alleged harassment from thier superiors. It's like, here's your job........but don't do it.

     
  • replevin posted at 8:27 am on Fri, Apr 27, 2012.

    replevin Posts: 92

    189,000 settlement, allows the department to heal . Darned expensive bandaid.

     

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