Cops and Courts: Woman gives notice of intent to sue county

A Clovis police officer has given Curry County notice she may sue, alleging a sheriff’s department dispatcher used a law enforcement database to pry into her personal life.

In a Nov. 12 tort claims notice, an attorney for Sandra Spear said former dispatcher Shannon Perry used the National Crimes Information Centers database to look up the license plates of vehicles parked at Spear’s residence and used the information to start rumors about the female officer.

Dan Lindsey, Spear’s attorney, said the sheriff’s office has assured them it is investigating the allegations and, “Is taking this very seriously in my opinion.”

If the matter proceeds to a lawsuit, they would seek unspecified damages, he said.

But the focus of the notice of intent to file a tort claim was his client’s desire to clear her name and concerns about the potential problems misuse of an official system could cause for law enforcement, possibly compromising other investigations.

A tort claim notice is issued in keeping with New Mexico state statute, which stipulates that a plaintiff has 90 days from the date of an incident to notify a defendant they may file a tort claim.

Citing criminal and civil code, the claim notice alleges Perry committed defamation, slander, unauthorized use of NCIC, invasion of privacy, emotional distress and intended to or had knowledge that her actions would cause harm.

County Manager Lance Pyle said Perry resigned her position as a dispatcher Nov. 17.

Pyle would not discuss the reasons given for the resignation and declined comment on the claim notice.

Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller said he would not comment on threatened or pending litigation.

He also declined to discus policy governing the use of NCIC.

Efforts to reach Perry were unsuccessful.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-3431, or by e-mail:

sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com