A widow has asked a federal judge to deny the Town of Normal’s request to dismiss her lawsuit over allegations a police officer stole $12,000 in cash from her home.
The officer, Brian Williams, also faces pending criminal charges. Williams, an 18-year veteran of the force, is accused of stealing the cash from Dustin and Lindsey Holzhauer’s home Nov. 25 after responding to Dustin’s medical emergency there. Dustin Holzhauer later died.
Holzhauer in January filed her lawsuit against the town, Williams, Police Chief Rick Bleichner, and officers Tim Edmiaston and Jim Ferguson. She alleges they tried to tell her that the money could not have been taken by a Normal Police officer and that they conspired to try to persuade her from contacting State Police to investigate the incident.
The town filed its motion to dismiss last week. It argues Holzhauer’s lawsuit fails to meet the high legal standard for “intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED).” The defendants also argue that they are all part of the same entity—the Town of Normal—and that “a conspiracy cannot exist solely between members of the same entity.”
In a response filed Wednesday, Lindsey Holzhauer’s attorney, Louis J. Meyer, said the town and police are “again attempting to stifle (her) rights and prevent her from seeking redress of the wrongs committed against her.”
Holzhauer claims she felt threatened to drop the investigation, and that Bleichner “came to her home in an attempt to stop her from discussing the theft with an outside agency.”
“This conduct is outside the bounds of decency,” Meyer wrote.
He also argued that the town and police have “misunderstood the facts surrounding (Holzhauer’s) conspiracy claim” and asked the judge to deny their motion to dismiss.
Holzhauer also says the “seized money has still not been returned.”
Williams was also named in the lawsuit. But a judge has delayed his role in the lawsuit pending the outcome of his criminal case. He’s pleaded not guilty and has been off the job since being arrested. In court filings he has denied taking the money and denied he tried to contact Holzhauer about the theft.
Williams is due back in criminal court May 18.
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