Former officer files notice of claim against Yates DA’s office over DWI arrest, conviction
By MIKE HIBBARD firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 5:00 am
PENN YAN — A former Geneva police officer has filed a notice of claim related to his drunk-driving arrest in 2010 and subsequent conviction.
Richard Regan III filed the notice last month in state Supreme Court through his attorney, A.J. Bosman of Rome, Oneida County. The town of Benton, Yates County District Attorney Jason Cook, Assistant DA Megan Peter and former assistant county DA Adrienne Muia are listed as defendants.
A notice of claim is a precursor to a civil lawsuit. It reserves the right of a person to sue a municipal body and its officials, as well as others.
This notice of claim stems from Regan’s March 31, 2010, DWI arrest on Pre-Emption Road in Benton. The claim alleges that no accusatory instrument, a document used by prosecutors and the courts to charge and prosecute someone, was filed in the case.
“An accusatory instrument is required under New York state law ... but there is no indication one was ever filed in this case,” Bosman said. “It’s also my understanding that Mr. Regan requested a copy of it and never got one.”
Regan, who recently moved from Torrey in Yates County to Whitesboro, Oneida County, was convicted after a July 2011 trial in Benton Town Court and sentenced to six months in jail.
In December 2012, Acting Yates County Judge Dennis Bender reversed the conviction because the jury included the mother-in-law of the judge. About a month after Bender’s decision, Cook announced the DA’s office plans to retry the case in town court.
Attorney John Campbell of Westchester County, who plans on representing Regan in the retrial if there is one, later made a motion to transfer the case from town to county court.
Bender is expected to rule on that motion by April 25. Campbell said he is likely to ask for the case to be dismissed at a later date.
Cook and Peter declined to comment on Regan’s notice of claim. Muia, who prosecuted Regan’s trial and is now with the state Attorney General’s office in Buffalo, could not be reached for comment.
In the notice of claim, Regan is seeking undisclosed damages for malicious prosecution, claiming he suffered humiliation and embarrassment, damage to reputation, stress, anxiety, monetary loss, and physical and emotional harm. Specifically, Regan said he suffered headaches, acid reflux, sleeplessness and sleep apnea; several emotion distress, including depression, and psychological trauma; and loss of benefits after his arrest.
Regan resigned from the Geneva Police Department about two months after the arrest.
The notice of claim was the second filed by a member of the Regan family last month. In early March, Regan’s father, Richard Regan Jr. of Hammondsport, served notice through his attorney, Campbell. Cook, Peter, county Assistant DA Patrick Chamberlain, the county sheriff’s department, Sheriff Ron Spike, former sheriff’s office Investigator Mike Christensen, county Public Defender Ed Brockman and Muia are listed as defendants.
The elder Regan’s claim stems from his arrest for witness tampering in his son’s trial. In December, he was acquitted after a trial in Penn Yan village court.
Regan Jr. is claiming false arrest, inadequate investigation, malicious prosecution and defamation.