SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Embattled ex-state trooper Lisa steed finds herself in more trouble. A class action lawsuit has been filed against her and the state of Utah.
You may remember, Steed was trooper of the year for busting a high number of people for drunk driving, but some of those convictions were overturned, and Steed was punished for making false arrests.
Now dozens of people are now coming forward to attorneys and claiming Steed wrongfully arrested them, and it ruined their life. Some people couldn't afford to fight the convictions, and they lost their cars, their jobs, and in some cases their homes. The class action lawsuit is looking to help these people, get back what attorneys claim Steed and the Utah Highway Patrol took away.
"What this lady did to me was not right," said Thomas Romero, arrested by Steed.
Thomas Romero is talking about former Utah state trooper Lisa Steed. Romero is part of a class action lawsuit filed Friday, suing Steed and the Utah Highway Patrol for wrongfully arresting drivers for DUI. Romero said Steed arrested him in 2011, and he hadn't had one drop of alcohol.
"I wasn't drunk, I was not any intoxication, nothing," said Romero.
The Utah Highway Patrol recently fired Steed after ABC 4 discovered she had made several false DUI arrests. Attorney Robert Sykes said he believes hundreds of drivers’ rights may have been violated, and Steed may not be the only culprit.
"The government and particularly portions of the highway patrol have become lawbreakers and have institutionalized the breaking of the law basically to make money for the state of Utah," said Robert Sykes, attorney filing class action lawsuit.
In the lawsuit Sykes is filing, he asking for an injunction to stop the highway patrol from making illegal DUI arrests, and wants to undo all DUI convictions where a state trooper was the only witness. He’s hoping no else will suffer Romero's pain of trying to fight a false arrest.
"I lost everything, I lost my motor home, I made people that I love mad at me," said Romero.
Attorneys are hoping to get Romero at least $20,000 to cover everything he lost, including his truck and his motor home. If you add up all the cases these attorneys think are out there, the lawsuit could potentially cost Steed and the Utah Highway Patrol $20 million.
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