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Lawsuit filed against two PVPD officers, Town of Paradise Valley <br />~Wrongful' arrest charged by concertagoew <br />By lLANA RUBER <br />Editor t. \} ,']::~ 1 }t, /~3 <br />Two Paradise Valley police <br />officers have been named in a <br />lawsuit filed by an attorney <br />claiming his Constitutional rights <br />were violated when the officers <br />arrested him at a Guns 'N Roses <br />concert last January. <br />The Town of Paradise Valley is <br />also named in the suit, filed in <br />federal district court Dec. 23, for <br />"inadequate training and supervi- <br />sion" of the two police officers. <br />Pinal County prosecutor John <br />Adams Canby is alleging that he <br />was the victim of wrongful arrest <br />by Paradise Valley Police <br />Sergeant Brian McFarland and <br />officer Vince Leone for "illegal <br />and inappropriate conduct" while <br />at Compton TerraceJan. 31. <br />The officers, along with a third <br />Paradise Valley law enforcement <br />official, were acting on the <br />authority of a multi-jurisdictional <br />undercover surveillance task <br />force assigned to police the <br />Chandler concert venue searching <br />for drug and liquor law vio- <br />lations. <br />The lawsuit states that Sgt. <br />McFarland and Officer Leone <br />illegally seized two concert tick- <br />ets from Mr. Canby's companion, <br />who was allegedly attempting to <br />resell the tickets. <br />Mr. Canby, who prosecutes drug <br />offenders in Pinal County, was ar- <br />rested and charged with disorderly <br />conduct for allegedly disclosing to <br />other concert-goers that the two <br />officers were undercover law <br />enforcement agents. <br />The lawsuit further alleges that <br />when Mr. Canby questioned why <br />the police officials confiscated the <br />tickets and asked the officers to <br />identify themselves, Sgt. <br />McFarland and Officer Leone <br />"without warning, blindly attacked" <br />Mr. Canby and "without warrant or <br />probably cause, pounced" on him. <br />Police later arrested and charged <br />Mr. Canby with disorderly conduct. <br />Neither Sgt. McFarland nor <br />Officer Leone were available to <br />comment on the incident, but <br />Paradise Valley Police Lt. Ron <br />Warner said the actions of the two <br />police officers as described in the <br />lawsuit are "not characteristic" of <br />either officer. <br />"There is nothing of significant <br />consequence on our part .. there are <br />many allegations, all of which are <br />without basis or fact," Lt. Warner <br />said He added that no departmental <br />action regarding Sgt. McFarland or <br />Officer Leone is expected. <br />As part of the surveillance task <br />force on the night in question, both <br />Sgt. McFarland and Officer Leone <br />were under the command of Lt. <br />David Gonzalez, of the Department <br />of Public Safety. <br />Lt. Gonzalez said in a telephone <br />interview last week that he believed <br />the arrest of Mr. Canby was justi- <br />fied. <br />"The facts in this case warranted <br />the arrest," he said. "Looking <br />specifically at the incident at <br />Compton Terrace ... the arrest was <br />justified under Mr. Canby's action <br />and demeanor." <br />Mr. Canby was unavailable for <br />comment, however his attorney, <br />William Moore, said the officers <br />weren't at the concert site to thwart <br />ticket sales. "They were there as <br />part of a drug enforcement task <br />force," he said. <br />Lt. Gonzalez said that while the <br />intent of the task force was to look <br />for drug and liquor law infractions, <br />as police officers, those on duty <br />also had an obligation to police the <br />area for other violations. <br />"It is common practice when <br />someone is exposing undercover <br />officials to arrest them and charge <br />them with hindering prosecution," <br />Lt. Gonzalez said, adding that Mr. <br />Canby, son of William Canby Jr., a <br />judge on the 9th Circuit Court of <br />Appeals, was "behaving in a man- <br />ner that was inconsistent for a man <br />in his position." <br />Lt. Gonzalez \ndicated that the <br />incident was brought to his atten- <br />tion by Sgt. McFarland. <br />"I was the commander out there. <br />I wanted to find out what the situa" <br />tion was so I spoke with Canby. He <br />used a lot of profanity ... he was <br />completely unreasonable," Lt. <br />Gonzalez said. <br />But in defense of his client, Mr. <br />Moore said, "Mr. Canby believes <br />the facts in the lawsuit paint an <br />accurate picture and pretty much <br />speaks for itself." <br />In July, the Maricopa County At- <br />torney's office declined to prose- <br />cute the case against Mr. Canby cit- <br />ing insufficient evidence. <br />The lawsuit filed by Mr. Canby <br />points to a series of previous inci- <br />dences involving Sgt. McFarland <br />which, according to Mr. Moore, <br />were used to lay the foundation for <br />this particular case. <br />Mr. Moore told the Independent <br />last week there are two elements to <br />the case which the public should be <br />aware of: The actions of the offi- <br />cers on the night in question, and, <br />what the attorney called "overall <br />patterns that should have never <br />been tolerated" with regard to Sgt. <br />McFarland's performance as a <br />police officer. <br />Currently, there is a civil case <br />against Sgt. McFarland charging <br />that he committed perjury and <br />obstruction of justice. He also has <br />been reprimanded on several <br />occasions for failure to respond to <br />police calls, clashes with senior <br />officers and. "grossly negligent <br />conduct" as the driver of a police <br />vehicle, according to the lawsuit <br />At one time, a grievance against <br />Sgt. McFarland was filed by a <br />female police officer and he was <br />investigated by the DPS for <br />harassment. <br />But these and other charges <br />against Sgt. McFarland, according <br />0 See LAWSUIT page 9 <br />. . ;), ;)., . . .. <br />II LAWSUIT·continu~d from page 1 <br />to Lt. Warner, have been addressed McFarland attempted to drive . <br />by the department and proved to be through a wash on the way to a call <br />unfounded. · and flooded a squad car, Lt Warner <br />"Brian has made mistakes as any-added, also pointing out that he <br />one else does. He paid the penalty could not recall any case where <br />for those· mistakes," said Lt. there was ever a complaint lodged <br />Warner. against Sgt. McFarland for use of <br />One of those mistakes -his in-excessive force. <br />volvement in a 1983 automobile Sgt. McFarland was fired from <br />accident while returning from a Paradise Valley in September, 1983 <br />police funeral in Tucson -resulted and ordered reinstated in March, <br />in the injury of four people, includ-1985. <br />ing another police officer. That inci-"It was the court's judgement <br />dent cost him his job with the (that the incidences) did not warrant <br />Paradise Valley police force, Lt. his termination," Lt. Warner said. <br />Warner said. According to Paradise Valley <br />Mr. Moore also represented the Town Attorney Charles Ollinger, <br />plaintiff in that case brought against the town is in J&,~~ess of hiring <br />Sgt. McFarland and the town. legal counsr·-"~nt the town <br />In another incident, Sgt. and the poli' 4 "-----. -=~~~----~~----~- <br />Traffic 'H?.Qes, MacDonald Drive speed top list of residents' complaints. <br />~illi.IrVeyg!; reveal not all is well in Paradise til S URVEY·1:ntinued from page 4 <br />fl. ) . <br />Editor's Note: Jane Cole is a <br />member of the the Paradise Valley <br />Homeowners' Association Board <br />of Directors. <br />What are the 1993 concerns and <br />problems that need to be given <br />attention in the Town of Paradise <br />Valley? <br />It looks like traffic, traffic, traf- <br />fic. <br />also Lincoln. What does the mayor <br />and the council plan for the future <br />and when? Or ever? I suggest that <br />The following comments from during the morning and evening <br />citizens (culled from the 1992 rush hours that the liilllights be <br />Resident Survey) give some sug-chariged during these hours to .rum <br />gested concerns and problems: signals, timed at 40 mph, like <br />"The 25 mph speed zone is Glendale Avenue in Phoenix, to <br />unwarranted on MacDonald Drive; enable the people who live in <br />35 mph is more reasonable." Paradise Valley to be able to get on <br />"You have not l!ddressed the traf-Tatum Boulevard without waiting <br />fie problem on Lincoln and Tatum 15 to 20 minutes and risking a sen- <br />which will only get worse with the ous accident when they try ... 1 have <br />expans.ion of homes in northeast been informed by some real estate <br />Phoemx all~LSco,ttsdale: Tatum . people they· will not show houses in <br />Boulevard was never des1gned to· thisiuea, phis the sales price of <br />carry the flow of traffic today ~d.~., .. homes in these locations have <br />depreciated drastically." <br />"Never give up on PhotoCop. <br />This is the best possible method of <br />speed control in our town." <br />"Speed limit on Lincoln Drive <br />should be 45 mph, minimum." <br />"Speed limit of 25 mph on parts <br />of MacDonald is ridiculous!" <br />"I moved to Paradise Valley to <br />get away from overburden of gov- <br />ernment and rules ... Quit creating <br />more obstacles! Great example: <br />spend millions of dollars to <br />IMPROVE a thoroughfare then <br />decide it's TOO DANGEROUS to <br />permit any rate of travel over· a. <br />crawl ... now a new Taj Majal for <br />the Keystone Cops is in the works." <br />"The MacDonald Drive and cur- <br />rent traffic control systems in <br />Paradise Valley are POOR because <br />of the ridiculous speed limit now <br />imposed and the camera speed <br />enforcement is outrageous. Perhaps <br />knowingly you'll keep traffic down <br />with this, but don't expect any <br />donations, tax dollars, or votes on <br />my part to implement such trickery. <br />This community is for everyone, <br />not just a select few." <br />"Don't allow MacDonald to <br />become a highway from Pima Road <br />to Tatum Boulevard, please!" <br />"Put in a large radius curve at <br />Tatum and MacDonald. Sharp, 90- <br />degree tUrns are bad." <br />"The town has tbO much traffic <br />and too much noise from cars and <br />plans." <br />"25· mph on MacDonald is unac- <br />[J See SURVEY page 9 <br />ceptable, conditions on most town <br />roads and landscaping is a dis- <br />grace ... police should patrol resi- <br />dential streets more, less emphasis <br />on PhotoCop and ticket revenues." <br />" ... Try to keep traffic through <br />the town at a minimum, never <br />allow adjacent cities to pressure <br />the Town of Paradise Valley to <br />change." <br />In response, however, to <br />question #7 on the survey - <br />How do you rate public bps <br />service through the Town of <br />Paradise Valley? -most <br />respondents had no opinion, <br />weren't aware there is any bus <br />service, or didn't want bus ser- <br />vir.P. at all. <br />Here are a few comments: <br />"What service?" <br />"Who cares." <br />"Didn't know there was any." <br />"?" <br />"What? Don't need and don't <br />want bus service." <br />The only bus service in town, at <br />present, is along Tatum Boulevard, <br />north of MacDonald Drive. Some <br />benches and shade for bus riders <br />on Tatum Boulevard and more <br />bicycling lanes on roads through- <br />out the town would certainly <br />encourage people . to seek other <br />ways of getting at~und than just <br />driving cars. ' · · <br />Are these viable options in the <br />Town of Paradise Valley?