When he learned of the verdict against Raymond Kontz, Mayor Campana was quoted in this paper as saying “I am very disappointed with the outcome. Ray Kontz is a good, honest cop. In today’s world, anybody can sue for anything.”
It was my great pleasure to represent Randy and Janete Shrey in the Civil Rights Lawsuit against Captain Raymond Kontz and I am both surprised and offended by the mayor’s reaction to the verdict of eight citizen jurors who sat and listened intently to all of the evidence before concluding that Captain Kontz was indeed, in this instance, not a “good, honest cop”. The mayor’s reaction is also surprising when one considers what the mayor knew, or at least should have known, about the claim.
People who are familiar with the facts of the case, know that oddly there was no paperwork created by Kontz as to his investigation and seizure of the Shreys’ Little League Police Badge Pins. No incident report. No Property Record. Nothing. The mayor knew this.
At trial, the only people to testify that Little League had made a criminal complaint about the Shreys’ unauthorized use of its logo were Kontz and Foresman.
Perhaps Mayor Campana thinks the Shreys should have resolved their problem with Captain Kontz without a lawsuit? Well, the Shreys did call the mayor’s office the day after the incident in an effort to address the situation. But his office simply referred the complaint back to the police department and the Shreys received an angry, threatening call from Kontz one-half hour later telling them to drop the matter.
The mayor is “very disappointed with the outcome.” Indeed, I would imagine he would be. It is a black eye for his administration. He appointed both Kontz and Foresman to positions of authority within the department. Does he truly not understand that police officers are not permitted to fabricate criminal complaints against law abiding citizens and seize their property?
The mayor states “In today’s world, anybody can sue for anything.” As someone who knows that Mayor Campana purports to be a “man of education”, I am shocked by this remark. In Kontz’s case, a judge presided over the trial with eight fair-minded jurors who heard both sides of the case and unanimously decided in favor of the Shreys and against Kontz, effectively finding that based on all of the evidence, the Shreys proved that Kontz lied about the complaint from Little League as to the use of their logo without authorization.
Coincidentally, that means the jury unanimously found that both Kontz and Chief Foresman were not believable. This is why their verdict included punitive damages of $45,000 against Kontz. Punitive damages are rare. They are intended to punish a defendant for wanton and malicious conduct, and also to send “message” to deter similar conduct. Based on his reaction to the verdict….. I guess Mayor Campana did not get the message.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom