Some of Riese’s claims dismissed

Written by Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate September 11, 2013 04:57 pm

Former District Attorney Mike Riese’s fight for financial compensation for what he considers violations of his civil rights by local law enforcement has hit a snag.

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that Riese failed to provide enough evidence to prove some of the claims brought against suspended District Attorney Jon Alexander and a claim brought against sheriff’s Deputy Richard Griffin.

As a result, Riese must pay Alexander’s attorney’s fees related to those claims in the amount of $6,256 and Griffin’s attorney’s fees, which have yet to be submitted.

The claims that were stricken from Riese’s complaint were for malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress (levied against Alexander) and intentional infliction of emotional distress (levied against Griffin).

Griffin had moved for dismissal of other claims, including unreasonable search and seizure and fabrication of evidence, but the judge did not comply.

Riese’s lawsuit seeking more than $1.5 million names several members of the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and Crescent City Police Department who it says were part of Alexander’s campaign to exact revenge against Riese for firing him from the District Attorney’s Office in 2006. 

The suit claims Riese’s civil rights were violated by unreasonable search and seizure, malicious prosecution, fabrication of evidence, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress and supervisory liability for constitutional violations.

Among the defendants are Alexander, Crescent City Police Chief Douglas Plack,  and former state Deputy Attorney General Brian Newman.

 Del Norte County and the city of Crescent City are also named as defendants.

Riese recently won a motion for a hearing to amend his complaint to add an additional claim against the county for negligent supervision of Alexander.

The claim stems from an allegation that the District Attorney’s Office investigated Riese’s prescription medicine use by serving “unlawful subpoenas” to obtain records from local pharmacies. 

The investigation followed Riese’s driving under the influence arrest in April 2012, the suit claims.

Riese checked himself into a drug rehabilitation program following the arrest.

A page of the investigation report included in the court documents described Riese as “doctor/pharmacy shopping”  to acquire controlled substances.

Pharmacies at Walgreens, Safeway and Rite Aid in Crescent City were subpoenaed for records and there was a subpoena for a CVS Pharmacy in Eureka.

Requests for copies of Fentanyl prescriptions filled or denied to Riese were made to two local doctors and a Brookings and Eureka medical professional.

Riese’s most recent driving under the influence case is ongoing; a pretrial hearing is scheduled  for October.

Riese was acquitted of driving under the influence and child endangerment in February 2012, the charges stemming from an August 2011 incident at Safeway.

Riese pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance last year as part of a plea deal after he was charged with forging prescriptions for pain medication in Brookings.

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