North Providence police officer sues town
NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. —
A North Providence police officer suing his town, claiming it obtained illegal evidence and used it to suspend him.
The accusations against Officer Daniel Williams include improperly using police equipment and police time to look up the license plates of female drivers to identify them, and then seeking out those women on social media sites like Facebook with the intent to try to carry on some kind of relationship.
Williams is suing the town of North Providence, and his ex-wife, Leah Stoddard, because he says that the town illegally obtained that information after Stoddard used spyware on the family computer and presented the evidence she found to police.
It was argued in open court, however, that an investigation into possible misconduct by Williams was under way before Stoddard approached the police department.
It was also noted in unsealed court documents that the computer used by Williams was purchased by Stoddard before the couple married, and it has been awarded to her in their divorce settlement.
Williams is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, alleging that his reputation has been harmed, his privacy has been invaded, and that he lost possible income by not being able to work overtime in the police department.
Williams was suspended with pay from the North Providence Police Department.
The civil case was tried in front of a judge with no jury, and the judge will ultimately announce a verdict after she considers all the evidence.