Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

September 17, 2013

Police officer's wife added as defendant

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — Attorneys representing Heather Dawn Huebner in her civil lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Centerville police officer Kenneth Reistroffer and the city of Centerville have added a third defendant to the case.

Documents submitted Aug. 12 by Huebner’s attorneys, John W. Bruzek and M. Victoria Cole Law Firm, now include Sheila Reistroffer, wife of officer Kenneth Reistroffer, as the third defendant.

The filing states Sheila Reistroffer and her husband before or subsequent to June 10 “acted individually, together, and in concert, and conspired to deter and intimidate Plaintiff, her family, and witnesses, in retaliation for filing this lawsuit, and to chill Plaintiff’s prosecution of this suit — and the testimony of her witnesses.”

The filing states Sheila Reistroffer as an employee of a local medical provider — the very medical provider the plaintiff and her family have been long-term patients — on June 10 “required Plaintiff to provide a urine sample, informing Plaintiff that her name had been provided by for random testing.”

Plaintiff Huebner two days later was told her medical provider would no longer treat her or her family.

Huebner’s court documents state they do not believe there was cause to call for a “random” drug test and the claim “was subterfuge to cast doubt on Plaintiff, her medical records, and similarly the testimony of her witnesses.”

Documents state “The ongoing specter of further reprisal have interfered with her (Huebner’s) ability to prosecute this lawsuit without intimidation.”

The lawsuit alleges “Reistroffer falsely formulated a pretense of probable cause and fabricated and contrived facts to support false criminal charges, and swore to those facts as true, causing the arrest and prosecution of Plaintiff for crimes, all in violation of Plaintiff’s rights, including those secured and protected by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”

The city of Centerville is cited in the lawsuit because it “failed to train, instruct, supervise, control, and discipline officers, including Defendant Reistroffer.”

The lawsuit alleges Reistroffer violated Huebner’s rights and maliciously charged her after she refused to allow an examination on her then-12-year-old daughter to collect evidence for a possible sexual abuse case in mid-February of 2011.

In the lawsuit, Huebner says she, her husband and a doctor deemed the test was medically unnecessary and that no sexual assault had occurred. The complaint then alleges that Reistroffer fabricated statements and charged Huebner with felony and aggravated misdemeanor charges in an attempt for retribution for the refusal of the procedure.

The felony and aggravated misdemeanor charges were dismissed April 2011 by court order.