Days after one man began the process of suing Lisa Steed, four more people have announced their intention to go after the beleaguered Utah Highway Patrol trooper.
Jason Holt, Cortney Feragen, Andie Snyder and Shadoe Snyder all took the first step on Friday toward a lawsuit against Steed for allegedly violating their rights when she tested them for being intoxicated, which led to criminal charges against them. Clifford Ray started the same kind of lawsuit against the trooper earlier this week.
All five are seeking $250,000. Michael Studebaker, the attorney representing all of them, would also like to see overturned convictions for the three clients who were found guilty.
Whether they are found convicted on Steed's charges or not, the court process "can become time intensive and costly... it wears down these people," Studebaker said.
UHP began investigating Steed and removed her from field duty earlier this year after one state judge in Salt Lake County and one in Davis County found Steed had been untruthful on the witness stand during DUI and drug possession cases.
Shadoe Snyder claims he passed all of Steed's sobriety tests after she stopped him for swerving, though Steed claimed he didn't pass and took him in for a blood draw. Lab results later showed Snyder was not intoxicated, according to his claim against Steed.
Feragen also claims she passed Steed's tests, but that the trooper falsified her report to show Feragen was driving under the influence.
Shadoe Snyder and Feragen's cases were both dismissed.
Holt and Andie Snyder plead guilty to reduced charges under the pressure of a trusted officer's report, Studebaker said. But they assert that Steed lacked probable cause to issue field sobriety tests on them.
"Every DUI that Lisa Steed has ever been involved with should be reviewed by an independent party, and people should be refunded their fees and given damages, and records should be expunged," Studebaker said. He would also like to see her 2007 Trooper of the Year award revoked.
She may also lose her job. It came to light this week that UHP sent a letter Nov. 1 to Steed notifying her she will be fired, her attorney Greg Skordas said. Steed has requested a meeting with the commissioner of the Utah Department of Public Safety, Lance Davenport, Skordas added.
Studebaker said that Ray, his first client who started the lawsuit process, was glad when he heard about her potential termination.
"This is the beginning point of getting some kind of justice out of the system. We're seeing some progress," Studebaker said.