Police Chief Accused Of Extortion

     CHARLESTON, W.VA. (CN) – Police Officer Gary Perdue extorted the owner of a cab company by demanding $2,000 a month from her, and assaulted, harassed, falsely arrested and repeatedly threatened her when she refused to pay, Veronia Strickland claims in Federal Court. Perdue is the police chief of Smithers and an officer in Montgomery.

     Strickland owns Ray’s City Cab in Montgomery. She says Perdue extorted her by threatening to arrest her drivers for giving rides to drug dealers, unless she coughed up $2,000 a month. She says that after she refused to pay, Perdue did ticket one of her drivers.
     Also suing is Strickland’s boyfriend, Damian Wales. “During the summer of 2006, Veronia Strickland and Damian Wales ran into Officer Perdue in the city of Montgomery,” the complaint states. “Officer Perdue stated to Damian Wales and Veronia Strickland that ‘you guys are going to pay me the $2,000 I want.'”
     Strickland claims Perdue seized her daughter’s military ID card, and told Veronia Strickland “that she could have it back if she agreed to pay him the $2,000 per month that he wanted.”
     Strickland and Wales seek punitive damages. Their lead counsel is Michael Callaghan.

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