Dona Ana County in New Mexico has agreed to pay Stephen Slevin, 59, $15.5 million after it kept Slevin in solitary confinement for 22 months without a trial for a DUI arrest. The horrific case was made worse by years of litigation by the county, which refused to pay a court verdict that was originally $22 million. One of the most disturbing facts of this case however is that not a single county employee was fired over his grotesque treatment, which included the denial of necessary medical attention.
Slevin was arrested for DUI in August of 2005. He was leaving New Mexico and driving across the country. He had been depressed and his friend loaned him the car. He ended up being put in a padded cell because he was viewed as suicidal. However, after three days for no known reason, he was transferred to solitary confinement where he languished from 2005 to 2007. While there he was denied medical attention and had to pull his own tooth for lack of a dentist. Fungus covered parts of his skin because he was denied showers. He was not allowed out many days for an hour as required for people in solitary confinement. His mental state deteriorated rapidly.
. . . Accused Of False DUI Arrests
Utah State trooper Lisa Steed
State trooper Lisa Steed is the first woman to be selected as Trooper of the Year in Utah for her record of hundreds of DUI arrests. She was celebrated as having a type of sixth sense for drunk drivers that allowed her to rake up an unprecedented number of hundreds of such arrests in a year. She is now a former trooper after her arrests were found to be invalid. What is striking is how prosecutors long suspected that Steed was unreliable as a witness but she was allowed to continue to abuse citizens. Ironically, in an interview during her illustrious career, Steed referred to her work as a “numbers game,” where she assumed that one in every 10 drivers stopped for a violation is driving impaired.
Steed is trying to get her job back as various drivers are suing the state for her false arrests. One lawsuit recounts how drivers faced employment and financial ruin over their false arrests while Steed was being celebrated as a supercop. The lawsuit notes that Steed was off the charts in her raw number of arrests but the Utah Highway Patrol made no inquiry as she set a state record of 400 arrests. She made some of these arrests after drivers passed sobriety field tests.