TPD: Woman sues ATF for dam­ages

Tulsa World - - Our Lives - Of Cur­tis Kill­man 918-581-8471 cur­tis.kill­man @tul­saworld.com Twit­ter: @lou­card­fan61 his ac­quit­ted

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

Laird

frame Laird.

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.

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