Another Cop Falsifying DUI Reports

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on October 16th, 2012

If only the public knew how easy it is for a cop to frame someone for drunk driving….say, a cop who has a quota to meet or is bucking for promotion.  See, for example, some of my earlier posts:  79 DUI Cases Thrown Out: False Police Reports, DUI Reports Falsely Certified by Arresting Cops and Pre-Written DUI Arrest Reports: A Smoking Gun

The only thing unusual about this news article is that this cop was caught…and then covered up.

Memo Suggest Utah Trooper Steed Was Falsifying Arrest Reports

Salt Lake City, UT.  Oct. 11, 2012 – A supervisor warned in 2010 that Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Lisa Steed, who is under investigation by her own agency, was frequently arresting people for driving under the influence of drugs who had no drugs in their systems.

The supervisor, Sgt. Rob Nixon, wrote a memorandum discussing the questionable arrests and implying Steed was falsely accusing drivers of impairment. Nixon wrote the memo after reviewing 20 of Steed’s arrests for drug DUIs….

"This is something that needs to be addressed before defense attorneys catch on and her credibility along with the DUI squad’s credibility is compromised," Nixon wrote.

A UHP spokesman declined to comment on the memo Wednesday.

"We’re considering that a protected document so we’re not at liberty to discuss the document," said Dwayne Baird, the spokesman…

The memo is "extraordinary," said Joseph Jardine, a Salt Lake City defense attorney who earlier this year successfully petitioned a judge to gain access to Steed’s discipline record. Jardine said the memo was not included in the records he viewed. The Salt Lake Tribune showed Jardine and Skordas the memo Tuesday.

Jardine said the memo shows the UHP hid Steed’s problems from defense lawyers. Legal precedent requires prosecutors also to have been aware of the memo and disclose it to defendants, Jardine said.

"That’s crazy," Jardine said of withholding the memo. "That’s exactly contrary to what the law requires them to do."…

Incredible!  The supervising cop wrote a secret departmental memo saying that they need to do something "before defense attorneys catch on and her credibility…is compromised."  Never mind the innocent people arrested and convicted: the important thing is that this dirty cop's credibility isn't compromised!

But there's more to this story — from five years earlier…

Trooper of the Year Named

Salt Lake City, UT.  Nov. 12, 2007 — Utah Highway Patrol Officer Lisa Steed is the Utah Highway Patrol's new Trooper of the Year. The Utah Department of Public Safety made the announcement after Steed made more than 200 DUI arrests this year…

Sgt. Shane Nordfelt is Steed's immediate supervisor with UHP. Nordfelt says the award is in recognition of outstanding police work and a community-based approach to public service…

Nordfelt called her ''a little ball of fire and energy."

Fellow troopers say Steed has a remarkable record of police work. In her five-year career, she's made more than 750 arrests for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and more than 1,200 total arrests.

Thus far in 2007, Steed has stopped more than 2,000 cars.

No comment necessary….

(Thanks to Ari Weiner and Joe.)

  • Tim

    This is what happens when society gives free reign to the police all in the name of getting DUI's and the heck with the constitution, especially the 4th amendment! Doesn't look as though anything will change soon here the U.S.A.? One of these days, the U.S. Supreme Court will have to come down from it's "Ivory Tower" and demonstrate some real courage and intelligence! This is something we would have seen in communist East Germany! Welcome to 2012 America!

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  • Tammy

    I cannot believe that cops are doing these kinds of things to meet their quotas. To make you look better or to get a promotion. Don't you have an oath you have to uphold protecting the citizens. These false drug charges and dui charges dont just dissapear. They follow you when you try to get a job, when you try to get into school, or something as simple as volunteering at your local elementary. All these privilages are taken away when something like this is falsely accused. The only thing I see is that you do not care about the people you falsely accused only the credentials of the cop that made the reports. Wow… How do you sleep at night hope the promotion was worth your lack of effort in doing your job..

  • HonkingAntelope

    Now, what are the chances that the DA's office will actually review every case involving this trooper and reimburse the people who got spent a lot of money fighting what may have been a false arrest?

  • DUI-The Constitution Need Not Apply

    This happens every day all across the country.  This behavior is unofficial standard operating procedure, and by concealing it the behavior is sanctioned.  LEOs and agencies are incentivised to commit crimes.
    I'm assuming Jardine had made a discovery or open records request for Steed's disciplinary record, was unlawfully denied by UHP, then petitioned a judge for access to the records.  The bombshell memo was unlawfully excluded from what UHP disclosed to Jardine, it was provided by the Salt Lake Tribune.  Violations of discovery rules, court orders, Brady violations, statutes, conspiracy, violations of solemn oaths, perjury/felony perjury, official misconduct, fraud, tampering with a public record, violations of rights, false arrest, false imprisonment, and more all committed by police, prosecutors, and likely any agency with oversight of an LEAs breath alcohol program (public officials/agents of the state). 
    It would be farcical to presume that prosecutors had not been previously aware of the pattern of fraud committed by a "Trooper of The Year" with as prolific an arrest record as Ms. Steed.  750+ DUI arrests in her career.  The crimes became apparent to Sgt. Nixon after reviewing only 20 cases initiated by Ms. Steed.  It would be equally absurd to presume that her fellow "troopers" (I hate that name=soldiers, cavalry) were not aware of her criminal methods.
    Because equal protection under the law no longer exists, these crimes committed by agents of the state will not be prosecuted, let alone with the zeal reserved for those innocent citizens framed for DUI by a trooper as despicable as Ms. Steed.  Official and unofficial policies promoting unaccountability for misdeeds committed by public officials stains entire organizations.  There are NO good cops or prosecutors…..unless and until the honorable ones start reporting/enforcing/prosecuting the crimes of the bad ones.  Until that time, they are stained as accomplices to the crimes committed by the dishonorable ones.
    By protecting corrupt public officials, the system harms honorable officials.  Meanwhile, innocent citizens are violated and abused.
    The most immediate and effective solution would be for judges in ALL jurisdictions to consider the claims, testimony, reports, and evidence of police officers and the state as suspect, unless they are proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  The entire jury pool (the public) needs to be educated and informed of ALL of their powers and duties.  Jury nullification is the public's last line of defense against unconstitutionality and corruption.      

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