Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, has won a federal lawsuit filed against him by a former DPS officer accused of mistreating Halliday's daughter.
Two orders filed this week by United States District Judge Robert Bryan in favor of Halliday and the DPS put an end to the meat of the lawsuit filed by Geoff Jacobs, an ex-DPS pilot and motorcycle officer. Jacobs had alleged that Halliday, months before he would become DPS director, basically conspired with his future subordinates to screw over the officer following a nasty break-up with Halliday's daughter, Ami Halliday. A complaint lodged against Jacobs by Robert Halliday with the DPS internal affairs department sparked an investigation that led to Jacobs' firing.
And, boy, did that investigation turn up some eye-popping stuff: over-sexed bulldogs, wild cop parties, allegations of rape, stories of women and cops being slipped roofies, sky-stalking, relationship drama, and one gigantic... We fleshed out the soap-opera-like case in all its gushy detail in our November 11, 2010 feature article, Hot Mess at the DPS.
In Bryan's first ruling, which finds in favor of DPS and Jacobs' former superiors, the judge points out that the Law Enforcement System Council -- which had already decided Jacobs was fired fairly -- was fully capable of weighing all the constitutional issues Jacobs had raised. No need to second-guess the council, in other words.
In the end, Jacobs failed to prove that Halliday had done anything that an ordinary citizen might not have done:
Plaintiff has failed to allege sufficient facts to maintain (an) ... action against Robert Halliday. He was a private party at the time the report was made. He had retired from DPS. His later return to work there is not material. Plaintiff has failed to allege an agreement or meeting of the minds between Robert Halliday and the DPS officials (or anyone else) to violate Plaintiff's constitutional rights. The state-action element in (federal law) "excludes from its reach merely private conduct."
Jacobs' allegations of constitutional violations by Halliday's daughter, Ami Halliday, haven't been tossed out of court yet, but it looks like they're about to be: Jacobs has been ordered to prove within two weeks why the suit shouldn't be dismissed against her, too.
In what appeared to be the one bright spot in the orders for Jacobs, the Hallidays can't collect their legal fees from the former officer. Bryan made it clear his order doesn't decide the question of whether Jacobs' lawsuit as frivolous, or had merit.
As our article showed, Jacobs' allegations of shady actions by the DPS weren't so far-fetched, (though, in the end, Jacobs didn't come off looking so hot, either).
Will the flyboy take it to the Ninth Circuit? Will he and Ami Halliday get back together? With this case, nothing could surprise us anymore.
UPDATE: As predicted, the part of Jacobs suit dealing specifically with Ami Halliday was also dismissed. And the Glendale Police Department won an order by the judge to have the case against them dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can't be reinstated.
See below for PDF of rulings, via Scribd:
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