Marana officers to settle MPD chief slander suit - The Explorer: Import

Marana officers to settle MPD chief slander suit

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Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2003 12:00 am | Updated: 7:47 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

The Marana Town Council moved to resolve a lawsuit at its Nov. 18 meeting by paying $35,000 to a Maricopa County Sheriff's Department reserve officer who claimed Marana's former police chief slandered him.

Daniel A. Boudrie filed the suit in Pima County Superior Court Aug. 1 claiming former Marana Police Chief David R. Smith falsely told a member of the Maricopa Sheriff's Office last year that Boudrie had mistreated a juvenile prisoner when Boudrie worked for Marana Police as a volunteer reserve officer 10 years ago.

Boudrie was suspended from his unpaid position with the Maricopa department but was returned to his duties after an internal investigation found Smith's statements were groundless.

Boudrie claimed the false information cost him the opportunity to start a security business that employed off-duty police officers, prevented him from doing off-duty work himself, hindered him from obtaining a job for months, and may jeopardize a governmental security clearance he's seeking to maintain his current job as a security officer for a Phoenix area defense plant.

Boudrie said Smith's allegation also put him in a "debt spiral" that has cost him thousands of dollars and besmirched his reputation.

"This has just had a devastating impact on my life and my family. I've got a wife and three kids," Boudrie said in an interview with the Northwest EXPLORER Aug. 7. "My finances were destroyed, I went into debt and I had to go through the embarrassment of asking family members for money. It's just been humiliating. A nightmare."

Boudrie, who worked for the MPD for a year between 1992 and 1993, could not be reached for comment about the settlement offer. The council voted unanimously and without comment to approve the payment.

The suit named Smith, the MPD and the town as defendants and alleged slander, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit also claimed Smith and the town violated statutes governing the release of employment information.

Smith retired Feb. 28 after heading the MPD for more than a decade. His departure came the same week the Arizona Department of Public Safety released results from an employee survey critical of Smith's leadership and a DPS review which found numerous problems in a high-profile death investigation the MPD conducted in 2000.

In other action, the council:

€ Voted unanimously to approve an "Unruly Residential Activities Ordinance" that would allow police to place a brightly colored sticker on homes where people disturb the peace.

Violations of the ordinance would result in an escalating series of fines ranging from $500 for the first noise violation after the tag is placed, up to $1,500 for a third violation.

The brightly colored tag would stay in place for at least 120 days. Removing, hiding or defacing it would result in a $100 fine.

The "red tag" ordinance will only apply to residences, but Marana Town Manager Mike Reuwsaat told the council Marana would look at some type of noise ordinance for businesses "at a future date."

The ordinance, patterned after one used by Tucson Police for the last seven years, was prompted by repeated complaints from residents of the Valley of the Sun Mobile Home and RV Park, 13377. N. Sandario Road

"That's a real quiet mobile home park and there was a duplex nearby that had been the source of several calls about parties and noise," said Lt. Paul Ashcraft of the MPD in an interview after the meeting.

Marana Mayor Bobby Sutton Jr. asked if the tag might not become a "badge of honor" for rowdy residents.

Ashcraft told the council the steep fines and the promise of increased police scrutiny made that unlikely.

€ Discussed and unanimously approved a preliminary concept plan for Marana's Heritage Park that is planned on 90 acres beside the Santa Cruz River near Sandario and Moore roads.

Barbara Strelke, a principal planner with the Encore Planning Group that was hired by Marana to develop the park concept, told the council the park would be a showcase of Marana's agricultural history and culture.

The park would include a heritage museum that would display rural and agricultural artifacts, archives, and interactive exhibits; agricultural field exhibits and crop plots; equestrian facilities; a man-made lake and train tracks and a train that would provide rides through the park.

The Marana Chamber of Commerce and the Marana Arts Council have expressed interest in relocating to the park, Strelke told the council. The Marana Police department is also considering placing stables for its equestrian patrol there.

Marana officials have yet to develop a cost estimate or a timetable for completion of the park, which is still in the design phase, Reuwsaat said.

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