By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

A resident’s $50,000 claim against the City of Whitewater has been denied, following a vetting by several municipal officials and a formal vote by elected officials.

In February, resident Ana Rodriguez filed an official notice of claim against the city, asserting she incurred a “violation of civil rights” for an incident that occurred Nov. 6.

According to city documents, Whitewater-based Attorney C. Bennett Penwell drafted the claim, which the Common Council formally denied April 18.

It reads, in part, “On said date and location, (two officers), acting under color of law, did use reasonable force against claimant, knowingly causing the claimant pain without the claimant’s consent. By doing so in a public place, the claimant was subject to humiliation and emotional trauma.”

Officers Raymond Boro and Joseph Matteson responded to the specific incident involving Rodriguez.

A redacted police report of the specific incident was included in the council’s April 18 meeting packet. The report sites “juvenile matters” as the reason for the specific stop.

Rodriguez, according to the report, approached Boro as he was conducting his investigation in a public space in the 100 block of West Whitewater Street.

Boro, in his report, said Rodriguez “was shouting at me” amid the investigation of the underage person, who was out past curfew.

“I could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from her breath, and she was slurring her words,” Boro wrote in the report, noting he called for backup at that moment in time.

Boro further wrote, “While Ana Rodriguez was shouting at me, she had exaggerated hand movements.”

Whitewater Police initially handcuffed Rodriguez after the alleged disorderly conduct behavior, and Walworth County Sheriff’s deputies transported her away from the scene.

At the April 18 meeting, City Manager Cameron Clapper said he, the city’s insurer and City Attorney Wally McDonell collectively recommended denying the claim.

 

 
 

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