Wife of former Rifle employee sues city, police department | PostIndependent.com

Wife of former Rifle employee sues city, police department

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” The wife of a former Rifle Public Works Department employee claims in a lawsuit that another city employee mounted untrue allegations against her which got her wrongfully arrested with a lack of probable cause.

The Freeman and Freeman, PC lawfirm and attorney Kathy Goudy, of Carbondale, filed the civil complaint on behalf of Marco and Shelley Carani on Monday.

Marco Carani resigned on Oct. 30, 2007. The next day, another city employee found stickers on her car saying “homewrecker” and other insults. That woman reported to Rifle police and the city human resources department that Shelley Carani put the stickers on her car without having any factual basis to do so, the complaint says.

Carani denied the claims in a police interview on Nov. 1, 2007. The next day, police asked Carani to come by the police station to give a written statement to “clear things up,” but instead arrested her on a warrant with felony harassment and domestic violence charges when she arrived voluntarily at the station, the complaint says.

“These charges were blatantly false and lacking in probable cause,” the complaint says.

The complaint says all the charges were dismissed.

City manager John Hier couldn’t be immediately reached. Police Chief Daryl Meisner said he can’t discuss the matter due to the pending lawsuit.

The complaint says Rifle police knew or should have known that a domestic violence and harassment charge didn’t apply to Carani, but they arrested her anyway knowing she would be held until the following Monday.

Carani says she was placed in a holding cell with four other female inmates for three nights. She claims the cell was too small for five inmates, there was no privacy to use the toilet, she went four days with “minimal access” to hygiene and the sleeping conditions aggravated a back problem.

The lawsuit also accuses Rifle city administration employees of slandering Marco Carani with false statements about his job performance. It says the Garfield County Jail and its administrators and employees violated Shelley Carani’s constitutional rights with “deliberate indifference” to her basic needs.

The complaint asks for compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial. It names as defendants the City of Rifle, Garfield County, Police Chief Daryl Meisner, three Rifle Police Department employees, city manager John Hier and three city administration employees, plus Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario and Jail Commander Scott Dawson.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121


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