Suit against Silt PD settled for $20,000
Post Independent Staff
Silt resident Casey Beauchamp received $20,000 in the out-of-court settlement of a 2003 lawsuit against the Silt Police Department.
Silt town attorney Mitch Randall released the terms of the Oct. 7, 2003, settlement on Wednesday.
The suit alleged that ex-Silt police detective Michael Williams violated Beau-champ’s rights, which protect him from illegal search and seizure by police.
According to the text in the original notice of claim ” the first step taken when a suit is filed against a governmental agency ” Williams showed up at Beauchamps’ Silt home at 1:10 a.m. on April 24, 2003, banged on a bedroom window at the house and demanded to talk to Casey Beauchamp.
When Casey’s mother, Alice Beauchamp, opened the door, the notice states Williams demanded to speak with Casey.
“Detective Williams then interrogated then 19-year-old Casey Beauchamp outside and inside the Beauchamp home for over two hours, accusing Casey of deliberately driving a truck across County Road 311 and swerving to hit a pedestrian, seriously injuring the pedestrian and then driving off, leaving him to lie in the ditch of the road,” the notice said.
Williams told Casey Beauchamp that he and another off-duty officer saw the accident and confirmed the license plate of the vehicle to be that of Casey Beauchamp’s truck, the notice said.
Beauchamp denied being involved in the accident and denied driving on County Road 311 at all that evening, the notice said.
Also during the investigation, the notice said Williams was seen “intentionally rubbing his pant leg against the side of Casey Beauchamp’s truck, making the appearance of brushed marks on the truck.”
The next day, Silt police chief Paul Taylor and Sgt. Tony Pagni visited the Beauchamps’ home to apologize for Williams being “out of order” that night. They also told the Beauchamps that Williams was being investigated for his conduct, the notice said.
Later, the Beauchamps received a letter from Pagni and approved by Taylor apologizing for Williams’ actions that night.
“Through my investigation I have found that members of my patrol staff, mainly detective Michael Williams, conducted himself in an unsavory and unprofessional manner,” Pagni wrote. “It was these facts which were used by us to convince detective Williams it was best to resign his commission.”
Williams resigned from the Silt Police Department on May 2, 2003.
Beauchamp’s attorney, Richard L. Dally of Englewood, originally sought $100,000 from the town when the lawsuit was filed last summer. But he said Beauchamp was content with the final agreement of $20,000.
“He’s satisfied because he’s a young man and he’s going off to school and pursuing an education,” Dally said of his client. “Casey Beauchamp is an incredible young man ” he’s a wonderful kid.”
Silt town manager Rick Aluise said Wednesday that by asking Williams to resign, he feels the town handled the situation in the best way it could have.
“We handled officer Williams’ situation appropriately and he’s no longer here,” Aluise said. “The town took care of a difficult situation.”
Aluise also noted that Williams was already an officer when Silt Police chief Paul Taylor ” and he himself ” started their current jobs.
“The town staff and the Town Board handled it properly. The police chief and the current administration inherited officer Williams,” Aluise said.
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