The civil suit against Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey in connection with alleged sexual assault and harassment will take a turn to the Missouri State Supreme Court.
The court is scheduled to hear Halsey's appeal on Tuesday regarding a statute of limitations for the claims in the suit. Halsey, a longtime department veteran who was promoted to chief in 2016, was accused by a former crime analyst with the department. In the suit filed May 9, the woman alleges she “was subjected to repeated instances of sexually charged and assaultive behavior.” Several of the alleged incidents, the last of which she said happened in 2013, involved Halsey, and the woman said she resigned as a result of the last incident.
The two sides, through their attorneys, have argued over when the two-year statute of limitations can be applied. In court documents, the woman said she didn't fully the appreciate the extent of the alleged assault and battery until the “Me Too” movement became prominent in the fall of 2017. Circuit Judge Jennifer Phillips had denied Halsey's motion to dismiss, leading to the appeal.
Soon after the suit was filed, the city of Independence announced it had hired an outside agency to conduct an investigation “due to the serious nature of the allegations” and that the findings would not be made public.
Halsey has continued to serve as chief of police.
City Manager Zach Walker confirmed in September that investigation had been completed as such but could resume if new evidence arose. That cost about $9,000. Walker added that the city's legal bill would not exceed the $25,000 insurance deductible. The city initially was named in the suit but later dismissed from it.
JAMES MCCHAN: The second of four defendants charged in connection with the near-fatal shooting of Independence police officer Tom Wagstaff is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 11.
James McChan, 58, is charged with robbery, burglary, kidnapping and armed criminal action in the March 2017 home invasion that ultimately led to Wagstaff's career-ending injury. He and another defendant allegedly drove two others to the neighborhood where the home invasion and kidnapping took place. Wagstaff was hit in the head with a freak bullet ricochet when the burglars escaped through the garage after police surrounded the house.
Donald Nussbaum, 53, faces the same charges as McChan and is scheduled for trial July 15. Santiago-Torres, 29, is charged with robbery, attempted robbery, burglary, kidnapping, assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and armed criminal action. Those three defendants have remained in jail on cash bonds of $500,000.
The trial will be at the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse.
One defendant, Joseph Wyatt, 29, was found guilty of eight counts in a bench trial, though he was found not guilty of assault of a law enforcement officer. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 25.