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UPDATED: 3 families of fallen officers reportedly drop claims against Pierce County

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on April 9, 2010 at 11:51 am with 80 Comments »
April 9, 2010 5:16 pm

UPDATED: The Seattle Times and Q-13 Fox News are reporting that the estates of Renninger, Richards and Owens will drop their claims against the county altogether, citing the ugly public backlash.

UPDATED: A lawyer for three of the Lakewood police officers’ families told The News Tribune this afternoon he is revising the families’ claims to eliminate any specific dollar figures.

Robert Christie of Seattle said the amount requested on unfiled claim documents shared with the news media Thursday – $182 million – has distracted the community from the true intent of the claims, which is to prompt the Sheriff’s Department to change its policies regarding monitoring the calls of certain jail inmates.

The claims, when filed some time in the next week, will ask now for what is “just and fair,” Christie said.

“We’ve eliminated that as a talking point,” he said of the $182 million figure. “We want to talk about the public safety risk.”

Christie said he is barred from suing for a policy change alone.

Public criticism of the families has been high since they announced they planned to file claims against the county. Many callers to local talk radio stations and people commenting on equate the claims to a slap in the face to a community that supported the families in the wake of the shootings.

Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said today the county has no plans to change its policy regarding inmate phone calls.

“We have a good policy,” Troyer said.

Authorities only monitor the recorded calls made by jail inmates when they receive information that an inmate is making specific threats against specific people, like witnesses or crime victims, Troyer said. They then can use the calls to make a criminal case against that person, he said.

The fact that the calls are monitored also acts a deterrent to some inmates, Troyer said.

Because the calls Maurice Clemmons made from jail did not mention specific targets, there was nothing the county could have done had they been monitoring his calls, Troyer said.

“Even if we would have heard that stuff, it wouldn’t have changed anything,” he said.

PREVIOUS POST: Kim Renninger, widow of fallen Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger, called the TNT this morning to elaborate on her reasonings for filing a $58 million claim for damages against Pierce County.

Renninger said the intent of the claim is not to enrich her family but to force the county to change its policy in regards to monitoring the calls of inmates in the Pierce County Jail.

“It’s not about the money. I don’t want a penny. I don’t want a dime. Nothing,” Renninger said. “Our intent behind it is to fix a system that is broken.”

Ronda LeFrancois, the sister of fallen officer Ronald Owens, and Kelly Richards, the wife of fallen officer Greg Richards, agreed. The estate of Owens filed a claim seeking $18 million and the Richards estate filed a claim seeking $58 million.

The estate of slain officer Tina Griswold filed a claim seeking $48 million (we incorrectly reported today that the Griswold claim was for $58 million).

Renninger said if  county officials contacted her attorney today and agreed to work on changing the policy, “the lawsuit goes away.”

She said she and the other families decided to file the claims instead of working with the county on policy changes because their initial request for change was rebuffed.

“If this is what it took to get the county’s attention, I think we have it,” LeFrancois told The News Tribune today.

Renninger, LeFrancois, Richards and the relatives of slain officers Tina Griswold contend the county could have and should have done more to keep Maurice Clemmons in custody after he threatened to kill police in calls he made from the Pierce County Jail. Those calls were recorded but never monitored by jail staff.

Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday that it would be impossible to monitor the calls of all jail inmates without the addition of dozens more corrections officers.

LeFrancois said the families aren’t asking the jail to monitor every call made by every inmate, only those who are known to be violent and to have made threats. Clemmons threatened to kill jail staffers when he was booked into jail last year.

“We think that would be well worth our tax dollars,” LeFrancois said. “The suspect was under their noses talking about it. We’re wanting changes in these policies.”

If the claim eventually becomes a lawsuit and goes to trial and a jury sees fit to award the families any money, Renninger said they intend to set up a foundation to “pay it back into the community.” Renninger said she doesn’t know exactly who would benefit from the foundation, but the families have discussed youth programs as a possibility.

“I don’t stand to gain anything monetarily from this,” LeFrancois said. “Our lives are forever shattered and changed. I think the only way we can keep going forward if by making changes.”

Renninger said the last thing the families intend was to hurt the community, which supported them in their darkest hours.

“We’re extremely grateful for everything,” she said. “It’s that support that gave us the strength to (file the claim). This is to benefit everybody.”

Leave a comment Comments → 80
  1. garfieldpmd says:

    am I the only one who noticed the law suite came after the shooting officers depostion .

  2. Reaganomics says:

    So did Ms Renninger ask for the County to change before she filed her get rich quick scheme? I doubt it.

  3. carmenlane says:

    Yes, I’d say you have Pierce County’s attention now if you didn’t already have it before. I wouldn’t wish a lawsuit on my worst enemy. Even if you are in the right, the legal process can be drawn out for years and constantly reliving the events can suck the life out of you in your fight for justice. It’s hell, but I am sure you all thought this through before moving forward. I commend you for saying that if the policies are changed, the lawsuit will go away. Wishing you the very best of luck. Hope something good will come of this horrible tragedy.

  4. bigmeatgrinder says:

    What’s your point garfield? Don’t you think the sharks have been working on this for weeks?

  5. sennapod says:

    Much as 9/11 was the best thing to happen to Bush, they think they’ve hit the Lottery. Their families got more attention and money than the guys who stormed the beaches on D-Day. They and their lawyers should be shunned forever.

  6. tomas472 says:

    First public announcement of this was ONLY about the potential suits for vast amounts of money. No indication at all of any option to make changes demanded by the families and they wouldn’t file the suits.

    That should have been the first line, not an afterthought on another day.

    Only after the extremely bad public response to that attempted mugging of the innocent citizens of Pierce County do the families come out saying “it isn’t the money we want change!”

    I already gave what support I could to the families – voluntarily – I can afford no more from my Social Security.

    Isn’t saying to the county “Do this or we will sue you” still extortion?

    Families, you have, indeed, tarnished the public memory of your lost loved ones. I’m sure that is not what you intended, but that is what you did.

  7. shahalyn says:


    Please, read the article before commenting. I think it is abhorrent that these people are asking for all this money, but please, read the article before commenting.

    “Renninger said if county officials contacted her attorney today and agreed to work on changing the policy, “the lawsuit goes away.”

    She said she and the other families decided to file the claims instead of working with the county on policy changes because their initial request for change was rebuffed.”

  8. jimkingjr says:

    Kim Renninger and all of the rest are still vampiric ghouls looking to suck the lifeblood out of the community who rallied in their support. The “it ain’t about the money” line is just so much spin as they try to hide (too late) their greed.

    Go away- you have no credibility to push for change, and your very existence is a reminder of how you have shamed the memory of our fallen oifficers.

  9. bkeyport1970 says:

    Ok, let’s make it not about money. Amend the suit. Make the county pay to Special Olympics or the officer’s favorite charity. That’ll convince me.

  10. hansgruber says:

    Looks like some heavy back peddling!

    Sorry Mrs. Renninger, sorry for your loss but it sounds and looks just like the Judson’s get rich scheme under the guise of we are doing this for all cop battered women to get the City of Tacoma to change their policy.

    I’m sure you could have put pressure for the County to address your request for policy change with a claim or public plea before filing a huge lawsuit.

    I am now no longer giving or attending any more of the LPD Fallen Officers events, I can’t stomach this anymore.

  11. discussThis says:

    The families appear to want change and in my opinion, this is the only way to make it happen in a reasonable amount of time. Their suit is/was part of the process as well as the angry citizens voicing their outrage. Everyone is doing what they are suppose to be doing to make things happen. Getting angry and making others angry. Thank you citizens of Pierce County! Your anger is necessary but please view it in the overall scheme of things and not attack the broken hearted. The inmates calls should be monitored and hopefully this will make that happen along with other necessary changes. To the families of the lost, my heart is STILL with YOU!!
    another citizen of Pierce County supporting the officers and their families and NEIGHBORS!

  12. lazyocean says:

    These families have disgraced the sacrifice of their loved ones. They could have used public support to initiate legislation implementing whatever changes they desire. But the simple truth is there is absolutely no possible way to monitor the entire prison population, nor is every crime committed demonstrate liability to law enforcement. When my father died from a drunken car crash am I able to sue because the police did not prevent it?

    I want my every single cent of the money I donated returned. They are not suing the county they are suing ALL OF US. Money that would otherwise go towards community services are being siphoned from opportunistic scum.

    Your dead loved ones are turning in their graves at your disgusting greed.

  13. klthompson says:

    Well, if it’s not about money, who is going to pay their Seattle lawyer?

  14. Mrs Renninger et al: You’re a little late on your claim. Our legislature is already working on this issue. They have already passed a bill or two as a direct result of the tragedy. Secondly, if you “don’t want a dime” exactly what do you plan to do with your windfall should you win the suit? I think We, the People of Pierce County should countersue YOU for making us p*** our dollars away by forcing us to defend this frivolous crap.
    I’ll continue to pray for you, as I have been since November 29th. But the prayer changed quite a bit. I’d tell you what it is but it would hurt your feelings.

  15. the3rdpigshouse says:

    And I am sure all the payoff money will go to “charity”??!!! Give me a break – excuse me – have to go outside & puke!!!

  16. tomas472 says:

    Keep in mind, that with Pierce County being self-insured that money for defense and/or pay-outs comes from the individual taxpayers of the county, not from some magical pot of “county” money.

    Because of this, any suit for money is a suit against every single citizen of the county, since any expenses come directly from us.

    Problem with this is that *I* as an individual in the county, subsisting on Social Security, cannot personally defend myself and what little I have from predators wishing to become rich by taking it away.

    I don’t believe the families have actually thought through who they are really suing.

  17. Perhaps the ultimate irony of the whole thing is they are suing the people who paid their loved ones’ salaries – US.

  18. ldozy1234 says:

    1) So the attorneys are working for free or are the families going to pay the fee’s out of the donated money if the suit is dropped?
    2) And what expectations do the families have on these changes to enable the suit to be dropped?
    3) I’m betting the lawyers” policy changes” be pretty undeliverable to insure they can claim its PC fault when it goes to suit.
    4) If this had been all above board and not about the money, the families would have stated this at their first news conference.

    Spin Doctors at work…. guess the lawyers are trying for damage control by having the families make this newest release.

    And are these families ready for spill over issues like some fellow creepy defense attorney using this in the trials of the scum accomplices?
    Did they even think about how this could affect those trials?

  19. now she grows a heart, too late.

  20. If its not about the money then sue for the cost of the coffee at the coffee shop.

    That would be enough to demonstrate that the intent is to change policy not enrich oneself at the expense of the supporting taxpayer.

  21. ptproudnative says:

    i agree with what mrs.renninger says.there has to be a way to keep something like this from happening again.i really never thought they wanted all this money.and for them to say that they wern’t gonna take any of this money should they win this ,i WAS SOO HAPPY TO HAVE THEM CLARIFY THAT.maybe things will change for the better..all the ugliness and mean things will not change a thing…i would still stand by these family’s…may god bless all the fallen may they R.I.P.

  22. I wonder how four families in Lakewood met an attorney from Seattle to get this all going? Sounds like an ambulance chaser found the families.

    He’ll be getting at least a third of the money, which means he will come out better than the four families will. You can bet he won’t be encouraging them to drop the suit for any reason, not that they would ever do that.

    “It’s not about the money” is a smoke screen. Behind the smoke screen, money is the only thing it’s about. If it wasn’t, the amount they are asking wouldn’t have need to be nearly so much.

    With that said, most of us would probably do the same thing. It’s the winning lottery ticket that we try to buy every week. At least most of us wouldn’t hide behind the lie that it’s not about the money. That’s the sickening part.

  23. Even if they win the money and decide to put it in a fund to help Pierce County residents, doesn’t their attorney still walk away with a lager sum of our tax dollars???? How foolish do these people think we are?????? This is disgusting, and a slap in the face to those of us who grieved, and wanted to help in their time of need. Lets also talk about the millions we will pay to defend ourselves from their lawsuit. They should have come up with a better line of BS instead of this crap they are trying to force feed us. I dont buy it for one second.

    Also, how many times has something like this tragedy happened? We are going to commit to spending millions more a year to monitor phone calls from just one incident?????? They say that not all calls need to be monitored, just the ones who threaten , or are violent. Troyer has already said that guards get threatened everyday. Even if their intent is good, they are still threatening the residents of this county to either do it their way, or pay tens of millions in attorney fee’s and defense fee’s.

  24. dankuykendall says:

    As I remember, the reply from the Sheriff was it would cost to much money to have a couple of officers monitor the lines. Wondwer how he feels now.

  25. chip98404 says:

    We are all sorry for the loss of the four police officers, make no doubt. But there are ways to affect change. Go to your council, your legislature, your representatives. Organize your neigbors. Create petitions. Call Eyerman for advice. DON’T bully us with threats of lawsuits! All that does is create ill will. If it is truly “not about the money”, drop the suit immediately and work the right way to effect the changes.

  26. Is there anyone commenting that is widowed because their spouse was killed for being a public service employee, in a county that has “protective measures” in place (e.g. recording of inmates’ phone calls)?

    If it takes a lawsuit to make changes, then everyone else should be thankful that someone is holding the county accountable. Those with the loss know how great the loss is and don’t want it to happen to anyone else.

  27. joyceloveland says:

    If I’m not mistaken, laws are generally made in our state capital not in Pierce County. The PCSD I would imagine, any LE agency, must abide by the laws that they impose, like any state.
    There are lots of individuals (like Clemmons) that roam the streets but the problem is that there just isn’t enough LEO to monitor them all.
    The PC jail I believe holds what 1400 immates, but the PCSD has about 400 officers, TPD has about 400. Even with help from other LE agencies there would still be a large gap.

  28. Kim Renninger, there is a right way and a wrong way to make a change.

    After all the citizens of Pierce county and the state have done for you, your family, and families of the other officers, blackmailing the citizens of Pierce county is wrong, wrong , wrong!

  29. lewiswells says:

    Sure, it´s not about the money. Nor do they want to enrich themselves….further.
    If you believe that, you have manure for brains.
    Just when I was thinking the greedy Judsons would never be upstaged…..we have this.
    In a way, it would be for the better if they do win this 225 million buck jackpot. The sooner this corrupt government is bankrupt, the better.

  30. interWOLFone says:

    If it wasn’t about money…then these families ought to sue simply for policy changes. Period.

  31. Earth_watch says:

    I’m heartbroken for these people but I don’t understand how money paid directly to these families (from a an-already-broke county) is going to do anything to improve policy.

    Any amount of “just and fair” funds paid to them is going to take funds away from 4-H and other county-funded “non-necessities”.

    If they really want to improve the system, perhaps they should be giving their insurance money directly to the program.

    So many of our tax dollars go toward the high criminal population in this county… and now to this? I can’t afford to live here anymore.

  32. I wish the best for the families of the slain police officers. They have suffered enough.

  33. mamillsap says:

    I agree with the majority of the people who have made comments. This is a disgusting and despicable action by the families we have all held up in our thoughts and prayers for the pain they are going through from the violent deaths of their loved ones. Now they are trying to steal money from our very pockets. This is very, very sad and horrible behavior on their part. They should be ashamed. There are much better ways to affect change than to steal from your community under the guise of trying to improve the system. They have made all Pierce County taxpayers victims already, just by starting this action. Shame on them.

  34. mikebaum says:

    Here’s a simple solution. Stop letting the prisoners make phone calls or let them say call mom once a week. Do they have a constitutional right to make phone calls? I doubt it. Institute that solution and the way I read it the lawsuit would go away. Win, win.

  35. I knew this was not about the money.

  36. ldozy1234 says:

    Simple fix:
    Have the Sherriffs Dept. rescind the $100,000. they were going to “gift” the county budget out of the jail funds.
    Then hire 1-2 folks to monitor the most dangerous criminals phone calls with those funds.
    Pierce then can state they met the policy change request, the families can drop the suit and the lawyers can slink back to Seattle with empty pockets.

  37. Earth_watch says:

    What does “not making phone calls” or “listening in to phone calls” really do to improve the system? No one knows if threats were made over the phone or not… even if they were, no one knows if something could have been prevented or not, so suggesting the families are owed $$$ for that reason is bizarre.

    If the family THINKS that listening in on inmate phone calls might make a difference, then I encourage them to offer to pay for the funding (two staffer’s salary, in the names of the fallen) to make that happen.

  38. Earth_watch says:

    Great idea, Idozy1234.

  39. sooner21_ says:

    I wish once in their whole BS session they would have mentioned the fact that Maurice Clemmons was even offered bail. If he would have not be able to get bail, none of this happens. They are so full of crap in saying it isnt about money it makes me disgusted. Tomorrow night is the Washington State Law Enforcement Ball and I wonder if these families are going to attend, and if they do, what kind of reception will they receive. My guess is that it will be quite different from the one they would have received 48 hours ago.

  40. OK, sue, but give the community back all the money generously contributed to numerous funds; give back any death benefits you receive from Pierce County;
    this reeks of lawyer-induced greed and is a slap in the face to all of us who supported the families during the time of the tragedy.

    In short, the families should give up any resulting monetary benefit BEFORE the suit goes forward. And the lawyers involved should be disbarred on general principle.

  41. cheryllee says:

    Good thinking! Drop the big money lawsuit and get down to business making some positive changes! I am all for that!

  42. While this dropping of the lawsuit is good news, the unfortunate aspect of this whole situation is that the families who pressed this “lawsuit” have done some permanent damage to their reputations. I know I will not look on this as them only trying to raise a point (as to why they filed), but as them backing down due to a very vocal and very much in the majority against them, public opinion. They now have to live with a lot of people that once supported them, and I am sure still do in regards to their loss, will now look at them sideways because of this lawsuit threat.

  43. DAKOTANATIVE says:

    Gotta agree Mike. They have caused damage that can never be repaired. They claim that they asked the county for change and got no reply. A simple news conference to challenge the policies of the county jail would have had the whole county listening. Unfortunately, that would not pay the lawyers nor buy a Lexus.

  44. weylandduir says:

    Shame on Pierce County, Mark Lindquist, Ed Troyer and the rest as well as the so-called caring community for their spiteful retaliation against these families. Pierce County has a long standing policy of not dealing with issues unless they are sued. Congratuations Pierce County for beating up on those who were cruelly victimized by your policies and proceedures.

  45. I am shocked at the lack of empathy toward these families who’ve suffered so much. Regardless of whether or not it’s deemed appropriate to sue, I would hope that people would keep in mind what these families have been through, and how they will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.

    I am extremely troubled that Clemmons was allowed to bail out in the manner he did. I tend to be more concerned with the judge who enabled Clemmons to bail. Where is the accountability? The ballot box?

    I agree that PCSO hasn’t the resources to monitor calls, but I wonder if there are “key word” algorithm base technologies that would automate monitoring.

  46. So the families “don’t want a dime” and their motives really are altruistic.

    What about the motives of their Seattle lawyers?

  47. sasykat59 says:

    I feel its lawyer induced too, and not right , totally not right

  48. mildredy says:

    It was stated that Pierce County ignored them, I beg your parden. Everyone supported the spouses, all of the country, not just Pierce County, plus all over the world. I noticed that they waited untel Olympia passed a law in favor of the survivors, then struck us with millions that they want us to pay. Wonder if they will order coffee in Lakewood? There is no way that the officers would have ever make the millions that they were or are asking for if the spouces lived. Greed has raised it’s dirty head.

  49. Spendlove says:

    This is the biggest crock I have ever heard in my 60 years. My husband and I donated to these families in a sagging economy …Nothing like a blatant rip off! Now these poor folks are going to make every one pay again. Ironic 200 million was donated and they are sueing for 193 million. Disgusting!

    I wonder how these families look at them selves in the mirror! They want change the only way a 193 mil will make change is making there lives a little more cushy and the county unable to afford change. USE THE BRAINS GOD GAVE YOU!!!!

  50. msslynne says:

    It was a terrible crime Clemmons committed-his statements made in phone calls were not specific naming time and place where he would harm police officers or the general public, he was an angry walking time bomb and there was no way of knowing when, or if, he would carry out his particular mind-set of playing by his own rules. We cannot be certain that someone close to him did not warn someone at some point. But there are and have been many walking time bombs out there who have committed crimes that others thought may occur, but could not foresee as an actual future event.
    Police officers run a higher risk for certain of encountering deadly force-but in truth we all do. I feel they are well taken care of financially by the city that employed them and citizens who have contributed. It is a sad thing to see the breakdown of respect some show police officers, but placing blame on Pierce County for failing to protect these men? No, that doesn’t ring true. The amount they are asking for in order to punish others who had no control over the outcome or knowledge that it would be carried out? Doesn’t make sense either. They may want to go closer to the source-the judicial system in another state that allowed this man to go free and a system that does not track well enough when it comes to dangerous criminals, it makes sense to fight for stricter guidelines-but it appears to be greed that motivates these women, it is taking the place of energy and commitment it would take to correct the actual problem, and the only benefit is to their bank accounts and not changes that need to be made.

  51. fivecardstud says:

    Isn’t that something. The Judges, the police and who all knows lets these people down, their family members get killed and because the people joined in the grieving process and cried a few tears that gives them a right to treat these families like this. It was you people the officers were protecting when they were killed and now because they file suits, as they should, you fine upstanding members of society trash them. You should all be very proud of yourselves. If that ever happens to me and I file suit and you ??? start doing that to me I won’t withdraw like they did. I’ll double the amount. I’ve seen it all now.

  52. witchiwoman says:

    A real public safety risk is taking the money away from the police departments that are trying to implement the safety changes the Legislature is passing laws on now. Suing for so much money takes away from future safety measures that could otherwise be funded. Anybody think of that???

  53. bahamamama says:

    ………….”Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday that it would be impossible to monitor the calls of all jail inmates without the addition of dozens more corrections officers.”

    This statement I find to be rather funny. Why do you need dozens of more correction officers? At that cost? Why should someone listening to telephone conversations have to be a correction officer? They will NEVER be in any kind of contact with any criminals.
    Dip sheetz……..hows about hiring unemployed telephone operators /switch board dispatchers/ or anyone else with telephone skills?
    You people make things as DUMB as possible and as DIFFICULT as possible.

    geeze….it aint rocket science. …..once again…..DIP SH*IT!

  54. lazyocean says:

    Let these people down? Nobody let them down except the murderer of their loved ones. Those men made the choice to put their lives in danger by being police officers. And as has been repeatedly mentioned it would not have mattered if someone listened to the phone calls or not.

    The man made no specific threats…he broke no laws…they could have not done anything differently even IF they had 10,000 people screening every call. So now they drop a specific figure still hoping to cash out, even knowing that nothing the county did would have changed what happened?

    Oh the public backlash made them remove a dollar figure but they are still trying to scum money FROM US ALL. FROM OUR COMMUNITY.

  55. bahamamama says:

    The entire point is: the citizens should be more protected. And yes, that does include Police Officers.
    But I guess you dont feel anyones life is worth ‘dozens of correction officers” pay. Not 1 OR 4.


  56. lazyocean says:

    “They will NEVER be in any kind of contact with any criminals.
    Dip sheetz……..hows about hiring unemployed telephone operators /switch board dispatchers/ or anyone else with telephone skills?”

    Because you are listening in on constitutionally protected personal telephone conversations? But as Ed Troyer said Clemmens BROKE NO LAWS in his conversations. They could not have done anything regardless…

  57. “It was you people the officers were protecting when they were killed and now because they file suits, as they should, you fine upstanding members of society trash them. ”

    And we stood by them. grieved with them, gave them free college education for their families, raised money for them and will change the state constitution for them.

    The thanks the citizens of Pierce county get is to be sued. Pretty sad.

    fivecardstud, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Blackmailing the citizens of Pierce county is just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.

  58. sthompso says:

    One thing we forget is that a civil lawsuit needs the jury to award the damages requested. Why do normal citizens award exorbitant amounts. Is it a winning the lottery mentality?

  59. justin_yorbum says:

    All of you people attacking these families are disgusting. You donate some money “in a sagging economy” and expect them to get over the loss of their loved ones and go away? You talk as if you bought them; they don’t owe you anything. They know $193 million dollars isn’t going to put their families back together and they know that sometimes legal actions can prompt change. Best of luck to them.

  60. bahamamama says:

    Where did you read that I said they couldnt of done anything?

    Youve missed MY entire point.

    read on….
    ………….”Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday that it would be impossible to monitor the calls of all jail inmates without the addition of dozens more corrections officers.”

    This statement I find to be rather funny. Why do you need dozens of more correction officers? At that cost? Why should someone listening to telephone conversations have to be a correction officer? They will NEVER be in any kind of contact with any criminals.
    Dip sheetz……..hows about hiring unemployed telephone operators /switch board dispatchers/ or anyone else with telephone skills?
    You people make things as DUMB as possible and as DIFFICULT as possible.

    geeze….it aint rocket science. …..once again…..DIP SH*IT!

    And I sure do not agree with your statement about ” constitutionally protected personal telephone conversations” comment either.

    Each and every person in jail that makes a phone call is told that the conversation “may” be recorded. And I believe it says it also when they make a call, before the call goes through.
    So based on that, they already know it might be recorded, and I do believe they give up their right to a personal phone call.
    See, as a telephone operator, when a call is coming out of a jail, it goes through a operator. That operator HAS to inform the person that answers the call, this is a collect call, AND it may be recorded.
    So again, I disagree with your comment…..
    and have a good evening!
    (A-T-T op here)

  61. bahamamama says:

    Bottom line is…….I believe the families are entitled to a “BUTT LOAD” of money.
    They need to go after Arkansas as well! For twice as much!
    And anyone else involved!

  62. fastercat says:

    You didn’t just threaten them that’s our hard working tax dollars. And if you happen to be awarded the money & laws don’t change. Do you know what happens next? Our hard earned taxes will be more. Yes, I was just a little put off! ! !

  63. Thank God these people came to their senses and dropped the suit.

  64. reaper14all says:

    If it’s not about the money, then let the families that are so concerned about phone calls monitor them for free. Problem taken care of. Like mildredy said noticed how the law suit was filed after the legislators passed suvivor benefits? While I feel for the families and the thbeir losses, we have soldiers losing arms, legs and lives daily and everyone just takes it for granted. Can you imagine all the families suing the Government to teach them a lesson?

  65. cynicalskeptic says:

    Ed Troyer is a hack. People, remember, the law enforcement community created this situation. Lock stock and barrel. Clemmons was let go by the cops and he killed cops. They should have kept him in jail.

  66. seattlesailor4 says:

    Fat cop pension
    Fat cop life insurance
    $2,000,000 in donations
    Sue all the criminals or connected family of everything
    Sue the people that paid them all this and a salary.

    Police protests violenty put down as always in that last few days
    To bad I missed them

    I say we get rid of all these GREEDY PIGS and replace them with
    $10k yr – no benefit foreign police that will appreciate living in USA and it will lower taxes as well. Just like they replace US engineers with cheap H1b’s.

  67. tokugawa says:

    It sickens me how these families attempted to capitalize on the deaths of their love ones. No lawyer held a gun to their heads to come forward with this lawsuit. They have disgraced the memory of their loved ones and now we will remember these fallen heroes as the ones who so bravely did their job but sadly were sold out by their greedy family members. A lawsuit against Pierce County for millions of dollars is all about the money not about policy change. These family members need therapy for their anger not a lawsuit against the good people of Pierce County who showed them nothing but support. It’s not about the lawyers it’s about greedy sick people…..I feel embarrassed for these Heroes children.

  68. teresa5291 says:

    Good that they dropped the suit. All you people saying that they should sue are ignorant. Who the heck do you think Pierce county is anyway???? It’s taxpayers. Who cares if they have an insurance company? who is going to pay when the premiums go up? taxpayers! I, for one, do not have anymore budge in my budget to pay for something that I had nothing to do with. What happened to these officers is terrible. Nobody is saying that it wasn’t, but come on people, there are death threats put against people (not just officers) every single day! What are you going to do? lock up everyone? Jeez. Get real. eventually those people are going to get out. Life is a risk. There are lots of dangerous jobs everywhere. For everyone who works with the public in a situation where the “public” doesn’t want to be. Try working with the mentally ill. They threaten and carry out their threats all the time. Think the state locks them away forever? Think again. The families need to move thru the grieving process and channel their anger to make some effective changes. A lawsuit that hurts everyone who are just trying to get by is not the thing to do.

  69. teresa5291 says:

    In response to cynicalskeptic: Clemmons was not let go by police; he was let go because the “law” is wrong. He got out fair and square according to the laws that we have now. Maybe we need to change some laws. Looks like you’ve never sat in a courtroom and saw people let out that you knew needed to be there, but according to the law, they were free to go.
    I am not defending that creep, but the people who were in charge of his incarceration and release did what the “law” told them to do.

  70. nonstopjoe says:

    The damage has been done. Now the News Tribune ought to do an investigative article on the attorney involved in the case.

  71. special__k says:

    Yes the public was outraged about this lawsuit. I’ve read every comment made on the article and overwhelmingly, people believe that funding the monitoring of jail phone calls isn’t the answer. In filing a lawsuit against PC, they were acting as children. After asking PC to change their policy and not getting what they wanted for an answer, they decided to try and force it to happen. If they don’t trust PC and the decision they made not to change their policy, then the proper course would have been to go to the legislature and ask for reforms and changes to the law that would have allowed for funding all calls from jails and prisons. Their lawyers should have told them this and given them proper guidance but instead the ambulance chasers saw money, big money and pushed them to the courts to settle their differences. Shame on the lawyers and hopefully someone, a friend of the families perhaps, will guide them where the lawyers haven’t.

  72. special__k says:

    theresa5291 I agree with you for the most part. Maybe changes could be made but not the way they wanted to force it and not without coming up with a way to fund it which we don’t have. I did want to let you know the cost to you and me as a taxpayer would have been much higher than raised insurance premiums. Pierce County is self insured and that means lawsuits like this go directly to the taxpayer.

  73. teresa5291 says:

    special_k: I didn’t agree at all with this lawsuit. Maybe I miscommunicated myself. I totally agree with you-the increase in premiums would have been paid by us, the residents and I did not agree wit that at all. I just meant that the families could have found another way to go about making changes that would have been productive….a lawsuit is not productive. sorry for the misunderstanding.

  74. thucydides says:

    As always, follow the money: Clemmons is dead and didn’t leave much if any of an estate to go after. His family members probably don’t have much either and didn’t know about the murders until after the fact. The judge has immunity for setting his bail (not that I think he was wrong on that anyway). DOC could be on the hook if they didn’t monitor him but it sounds like they did all they could to get him violated. That leaves a far fetched claim like this as the only way to find a defendant who might actually pay a judgment. Thus, the allegations that they should have done more.

  75. nonstopjoe is absolutely correct! TNT should run an investigative series on the attorney(s) involved here.

  76. ptproudnative says:

    it’s sad to see all the horriffic things people are saying about the family’s.don’t they put a stop to all the ugliness?don’t people think some of these kids are old enough to read some of the things that are being said? i think it’s harsh to put judgment on these family’s that only want some change in the hard as it may seem something needs to change.the family members who helped the murderer should be sued also.I would never ask or want a dime back although i only donated 10,20,here and there when i had extra.i know it was going for a GOOD CAUSE.i would still stand behind them again…may the officer’s R.I.P.

  77. lsaunders says:

    I was gratified to learn today that the spouses of our Lakewood fallen officers have dropped the lawsuit against Pierce County. I know these families. I am certain their sole motive was to prevent their tragedy from recurring. I share their conviction that had any of the 55 or so calls from Maurice Clemmons threatening police officers while in the Pierce County Jail gotten into the proper channels, it would have leveraged action to prevent his release – and the subsequent loss of their loved ones. I also believe with all my heart that had they successfully pursued the law suit, these families would have donated any gain to community charities. Shame on their attorneys for not making them more aware that the County is self-insured, thus the burden of this suit passes to the tax-payers of Pierce County who have been so supportive during this tragedy. To their great credit, immediately on realizing this consequence, the families withdrew the suit. However, the TNT quote of Ed Troyer stating there will be no reexamination of the policy not to monitor inmate phone calls is troubling. Hopefully this was a reflection of Ed’s understandable frustration and not a Department position. Sheriff Pastor has to date been a leader in exploring any and all actions that offer potential for preventing a similar tragedy. I believe there are affordable ways to work this – some combination of random monitoring, targeted monitoring of violent felons, and use of properly cleared and trained police volunteers. I urge a search for better monitoring options. I also urge us to now to come back together as a community in support of these families and of the considerable effort by our public officials, past and pending, to prevent this tragic set of circumstances from ever recurring.

  78. ptproudnative says:

    oh and how come his wife.MRS.CLEMMON’S.didn’t get any charges filed on her??in earlier reports it was said somewhere she knew what he was going to do,maybe help him with phone,and some other thing’s if i rember correctly..maybe money…i don’t rember exactaly what,but i do rember reading…she could have reported to the authority’s and she didn’t..

  79. siragwatkins says:

    So if Clemmons (or anyone) talks abt killing cops, his probation/parole/bail can’t be revoked if he’s not specific? Seems pretty stupid.

    And this would be a fine entry level job for teens thinking of police work, or people coming off public assistance and needing job experience–no reason an officer should have to do it.

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