TPD: Woman sues ATF for damages
Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Justice attorneys said Laird is not entitled to damages from the federal government because the ATF special agent, Brandon McFadden, was acting outside the scope of his employment when he helped
In 2007, McFadden was an ATF special agent assigned to the Tulsa field office, where he worked as a liaison with the local gang unit with the Special Investigations Division of the Tulsa Police Department.
McFadden testified Wednesday that he didn't know of Laird until he saw an affidavit for a search warrant targeting her on former Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson's desk.
The search warrant falsely claimed an informant purchased methamphetamine from Laird.
McFadden said he went along with the ruse at the behest of Henderson.
McFadden testified Wednesday that he later helped assist government prosecutors with the preparation of witnesses, who testified against Laird. McFadden said he believes his assistance and testimony helped convict Laird.
However, during crossexamination by government attorneys, McFadden conceded he knew he was breaking the law when he helped frame Laird.
During closing arguments, Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Kyle West said McFadden hid his conduct from his superiors because he knew it was disallowed.
A former U.S. Attorney in Arkansas who prosecuted the Tulsa Police Department corruption case testified that McFadden never told her that his actions served the interest of the ATF.
Rather, Jane Duke said she recalled McFadden saying the only reason he went along with the prosecution of Laird was because “he had to carry it out to keep the charade going.”
The lawsuit has seen many twists and turns along its six-year journey.
In 2015, Dowdell ruled in favor of the federal government's summary judgment motion, finding it was not liable for McFadden's acts.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 reversed a portion of Dowdell's dismissal of Laird's civil rights lawsuit against the federal government, finding that McFadden's acts against Laird may have been within the scope employment.
Laird has already settled a separate lawsuit against the city of Tulsa for $300,000. Her case against McFadden is pending.
Henderson received a 42-month prison term for two counts of civil rights violations and six counts of perjury. He was released from prison on Oct. 25, 2013.
McFadden received a 21-month prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges and agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors. He was released from prison July 19, 2013.
All told, four officers were convicted and received prison sentences together totaling 187 months in prison.
Three officers were of all charges.
Laird's case, filed in 2012, is believed to be the last remaining civil lawsuit that sprouted from an investigation of Tulsa Police corruption.
Dowdell said he would permit attorneys for both sides to file additional documents in support of their positions before issuing an opinion at an undetermined date.