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Michigan man receives settlement after being acquitted of drunk driving

In 2009, around 2:30 am, the sergeant from the Warren Police Department pulled over the then legal and political advisor for the city. According to testimony, the 37-year-old advisor claimed that he had consumed alcohol before driving, but refused the preliminary breath test. When the test was administered at police headquarters, results fluctuated between .07 and .08. According to the arrest report, he was charged with drunk driving and was suspended from his position as an advisor.

Seems like a cut and dry case, right? Not according to the recent lawsuit the 37-year-old filed against the city, claiming that they had not only violated his fourth amendment right but had done so in a malicious fashion.

According to the lawsuit, a year prior to his arrest, he was accused of placing "disparaging remarks" about the sergeant's wife, who had been working as an assistant in the mayor's office at the time, and posting them on the internet. Though he denied having any involvement, he claims that this made contentions between the sergeant's wife, with whom he worked for the mayor's office.

The now ex-advisor felt that his arrest and subsequent removal from his position were a result of these accusations, and in his lawsuit against the city, pointed out that this questioned the credibility of the sergeant's decision during the arrest.

Though the ex-advisor was acquitted of his drinking and driving charge, seven months after the fact, he points out that he was still forced from his position and therefore was owed lost wages. According to an independent liability adjuster, it would have cost the city three times as much money to bring the lawsuit to trial than it would be to settle.

Earlier this month, the ex-advisor was paid $75,000 in a settlement with the city. According to his attorney, he is relieved that his side of the story was heard and that he can finally move on with his life.

Source: The Daily Tribune, "Warren settled lawsuit by ex-assistant attorney without council's input," Norb Franz, Oct. 22, 2012

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