Woman seeks $300K over skirt-lifting traffic stop

Chris Rizo Jun. 30, 2008, 1:00am

John Wood

PORTLAND, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-A woman is suing the city of Portland because one of its police officers allegedly followed her home from a bar, pulled her over for no apparent reason and asked her to lift her skirt.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, accuses the city of negligence for keeping John Wood on the police force even though he had acted in a similar manner toward another woman while on duty a year earlier.

Wood resigned from the police force in November, after pleading guilty to two criminal counts of official misconduct stemming from his encounter with the women.

He faced a maximum two years in jail and $13,500 in fines. He resigned instead of being sentenced to jail.

Wood last July followed the woman home from Duke's Home Town Bar and Grill and "unreasonably detained" the woman and her friend in the establishment's parking lot, the suit says.

The lawsuit claims Wood, who was on duty, lacked reason to detain the un-named plaintiff and her friend, who says she knew the officer personally.

The officer detained her and her friend for at least 30 minutes, at which time he allegedly "made inappropriate flirtatious comments," the lawsuit says.

After the incident in the parking lot the women left, but Wood pulled them over down the street.

He allegedly asked about the woman's underwear, saying he "never got to see the goods" when they were in the parking lot.

The woman is seeking, in addition to costs and attorneys fees, $100,000 in compensatory general damages for the parking lot incident, $100,000 for being pulled over without cause, $100,000 for "intimidation" relating to her showing the officer her underwear, court papers say.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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