Federal Judge Dismisses Ex-Councilman Hedquist’s Lawsuit Against Casper
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by former Casper City Council member Craig Hedquist, who alleged former Police Chief, now council member himself, Chris Walsh violated a law by searching is background as part of a political vendetta.
U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson did not disagree with evidence that Walsh, acting on a request from former City Manager John Patterson, used a database called TLO to determine whether Hedquist, who was elected in November 2012, lived in Ward II in west Casper.
Hedquist claimed Walsh could only use the database if there was a criminal investigation against him. Otherwise, that would violate the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).
Walsh and the City of Casper had filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss Hedquist's lawsuit.
Johnson agreed with Walsh and the city in his ruling Monday writing that Hedquist failed to satisfy a "'heavy two-part burden'" that the city had qualified immunity, which protects them from "'all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.'"
Hedquist, who resigned in July 2015, was not able to marshal case law that showed Walsh violated the DPPA, Johnson wrote.