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Cop May Pursue State Claims Against Police Chief

DES MOINES (CN) - A Corning police officer who said the police chief was out to get him for criticizing public officials may proceed with his state claims, the Iowa Appeals Court ruled.

Mark Davenport said Police Chief Larry Drew spread lies that he abused his wife and frequently drove by his house and office. When Davenport unsuccessfully ran for mayor against Marvin Steffen in 2001, Drew ran a background check on the author of a letter to the editor that he accused Davenport of writing, the ruling states.

Davenport reported Drew's alleged illegal activities to the county attorney, and a grand jury indicted Drew on two counts of "nonfelonious conduct in office." The charges were dropped, but Drew allegedly continued to stalk Davenport and look for ways to have him fired.

The court ruled that Davenport's state claims are not precluded by his federal lawsuit because the allegations were ongoing. It affirmed dismissal of his claims against Steffen, but granted summary judgment on his claim that Drew had invaded his privacy by patrolling his workplace. See ruling in Davenport v. City of Corning.

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