At least $1 million is due to each of 13 boys allegedly molested by former Colorado Springs police officer Joshua Carrier, the boys' attorney says in a letter that calls out city officials and educators by name, including former Police Chief Richard Myers and several Mann Middle School administrators.
Colorado Springs attorney Rick Levinson recently amended claim notices to include the damage estimate and to identify whom he believes is culpable in Carrier's case.
Carrier, 30, is accused of performing inappropriate physical exams or drug searches of 22 boys (nine of whom aren't represented by Levinson) while serving at Mann as a school resource officer and volunteer. He is charged with 189 counts of sexual assault on a child.
Jailed on $500,000 bond, Carrier faces a March 12 trial on the sexual assault charges and a Jan. 9 trial on child pornography charges, which arose from a federal investigation.
Levinson's original notices of claim, filed with the city and Colorado Springs School District 11 last spring, didn't blame anyone specifically. But this filing names those who, Levinson contends, "failed to properly supervise Mr. Carrier, failed to follow procedure and policy and aided and assisted him in conducting the physical examinations and/or searches..."
Levinson doesn't elaborate on how those people violated policy or assisted Carrier, but the Independent has previously reported ("Underwhelming oversight," cover story, Aug. 25) on gaps in D-11's volunteer policy and the police department's lack of a policy on pre-arrest searches. In that story, Levinson also asserted that police and the district failed to act on parental complaints about Carrier.
Those named from the city: Myers, Police Cmdr. Mark Smith and Sgt. John Taylor, who were in Carrier's chain of command.
From D-11: board members Charles Bobbitt, Al Loma, LuAnn Long, Sandra Mann, Bob Null, Tom Strand and Janet Tanner; Superintendent Nicholas Gledich; Mann principal Scott Stanec and assistant principals Peggy Layh, Ken Potman and Joel Rivera; security guard Nicholas Graham; coaches John Popovich and Tyler Popovich; and data processor and volunteer coordinator Carrie Butierres.
Levinson says in the notice that those named acted "intentionally and with callous disregard for their [kids'] safety."
Levinson, who declined to comment, says in the latest filings that the amount of monetary damages should be "no less than one million dollars for each client." That would compensate them for "mental distress, physical injury and other damages to be determined."
Glenn Gustafson, the D-11 finance officer who has managed the district's ongoing investigation, had no comment. City Attorney Christopher Melcher didn't respond to requests for comment.
The school district's insurance coverage caps payments for general and professional liability at $4 million, so any payment above that would come from school funds. The city is self-insured, meaning any payments would come from the city budget. But both are given some degree of immunity from lawsuits, depending on the circumstances of the case.
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