A corporal in the Utah Highway Patrol, Lisa Steed was considered a budding star. Tough, yet kind, she racked up an impressive number of Driving under the influence” arrests and was named “Trooper of the year” in 2007. Her future seemed bright with numerous promotions heading her way.
This all changed late last fall when the trooper was fired with no warning. Her office would not give a reason why but a pending lawsuit gives a few clues. This lawsuit is claiming that she pulled over dozens of people, making numerous Drunk-driving arrests throughout her 10 year career.
The problem? According to the lawsuit, many of the drivers the trooper had pulled over were not drinking or taking controlled substances. or at least not the amounts needed to be considered impaired! This is according to the lawsuit, brought on behalf of the Plaintiffs by their former criminal defense lawyers.
According to one of the criminal law attorneys, some of the clients did not even drink alcohol. Despite passing field sobriety exercises, the trooper would claim they were impaired and still arrest them.
“We were all separately getting calls about Lisa Steed from people saying: ‘I was pulled over. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. She told me I smelled like alcohol, but I hadn’t been drinking,’ ” the lawyer said.
According to the lawsuit, over 40 people are claiming that they were faslely arrested by the Highway patrolman. This was done to impress her superiors and further her career.
According to the lawsuit, in all the cases, the charges were dropped or reduced to careless driving, but not before the defendants had to post bail, or pay court fess in the thousands of dollars.
For her part, the trooper is firing back. She has appealed her firing and through her attorney, is claiming that the vast majority of her cases have been upheld.
It appears to be more complicated then that. The State Attorney in her area has announced that he would not pursue any driving charges where she was the arresting officer.
More evidence has piuled up against Ms. Steed. A 2010 police memo found that 20 marijuana based driving cases where the trooper made an arrest showed later that no drugs were ever found in any of the defendant’s systems. The memo goes on to state that Ms. Steed would report that the drivers showed visual signs of impairment, and the memo mentioned concerns that defense lawyers would begin questioning her credibility.
Another 2011 case highlighted in the lawsuit shows more trooper credibility problems. A man was pulled over in layton for swerving. The man had told the officer he had not been drinking and he passed all field sobriety exercises. Yet he was still arrested. He was booked in jail and passed a blood alcohol test. All charges were eventually dropped.
In another case, Ms. Steed pulled over a lady for speeding. The woman, despite not drinking, was accused of DUI and arrested. Like the others, her charges were all dropped.
According to the lawyer in the lawsuit, he suspects that there were literally 100s of bad arrests.
Have you or a loved one been arrested or charged with a DUI or drug possession? Then call the experienced St. Petersburg DUI attorneys at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors can help you get your life back!