A Chicago Police officer claims she was falsely arrested in 2013 but was told it could all “go away” if she dropped a federal lawsuit.
The allegation appears in a fresh filing in a lawsuit filed by Chicago Police officers Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria in 2012. The pair alleged they were retaliated against for investigating fellow officers.
Their latest claim stems from a warning given March 29, 2013, court papers state. A fellow officer had allegedly noticed Spalding listening on speaker mode to what appeared to be a cellphone. That officer thought she heard a recording of Spalding and one of the defendants in Spalding’s lawsuit, Sgt. Thomas Mills. And she wanted to warn another officer to be careful around Spalding.
Spalding claims Sgts. Michael Barz and Robert Muscolino confronted her on April 11, 2013. Barz allegedly told Spalding she was under arrest and the two officers took Spalding into a room and shut the door.
Barz and Muscolino read Spalding her rights and told her she was being charged with illegally recording Mills, court papers state. At one point, Barz allegedly told Spalding he knew the allegations were false, and she said he told her the charges could “go away” if she dropped her federal lawsuit.
Spalding said she wasn’t released until she could reach an attorney.
An attorney for the city couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Among the officers Spalding and Echeverria said they investigated was Sgt. Ronald Watts, who was sentenced in October 2013 to 22 months in prison for shaking down drug dealers.