The Oneida County Public Safety Committee heard an update Thursday on a notice of claim filed by a Colorado man who alleges he was a falsely arrested on a warrant drafted by the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office.
The committee took no action on the claim and Oneida County Corporation Counsel Brian Desmond said the matter is in the hands of the county’s insurance carrier.
Attorney Steve Lucareli of Eagle River filed the claim Jan. 22 on behalf of his client, Samuel A. Kibler, of Cascade, Colo.
Kibler, 24, alleges he spent more than a month behind bars after he was taken into custody back in October on a false criminal complaint.
In his claim, Kibler states he was arrested after the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint in which he was named as the defendant but none of the supporting documents (police reports) contained his name.
He claims he was held in the Colorado Justice Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for 33 days and told he would eventually be extradited to Wisconsin. He was released when the State of Wisconsin failed to follow through with the proper extradition papers, according to the claim.
While he was incarcerated, Kibler claims he lost his vehicle, his job and his apartment.
In December, a second criminal complaint was filed charging Kibler with the same crimes listed in the first complaint.
This time, Kibler contacted Lucareli for help. He told the attorney he believed the county district attorney’s office had charged him for crimes that may have been committed by a relative with the same last name.
According to the claim, when Lucareli advised new Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek of the alleged misidentification, Schiek admitted one of his assistants made a mistake.
“On Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, Lucareli spoke with DA (Mike) Schiek about the false identification of Samuel Kibler in both of the criminal complaints that had been filed,” the notice of claim states. “Mr. Schiek told Lucareli that during the previous week, ADA Scott Moller had come into his office and told him that he (Mr. Moller) had ‘[screwed] up’ by issuing a criminal complaint charging Samuel Kibler with several crimes that Samuel Kibler was not responsible for committing. Mr. Schiek apologized for what had happened to Samuel Kibler and said that his office would do whatever it could to make it right with him,” the claim states.
Kibler is asking for $250,000 in compensation for the loss of his freedom and related costs.
The Oneida County Public Safety Committee went into closed session Thursday to hear an update on the county’s response to the claim.
After the panel returned to open session, Desmond announced no action had been taken. A discussion was held for informational purposes only, he said.
Desmond said the county has sent the claim to its insurance company and is awaiting further direction.
“We’re waiting to hear back from our insurance company. They’ve been forwarded the notice of claim and they’ll investigate it and we’re waiting for them to tell us what to do — whether to deny the claim or settle or what,” Desmond said.
As for what comes after that, Desmond said it depends on what the insurance company says.
“It’ll depend on what action they say needs to be taken. If they tell us to deny the claim, the administration committee will forward that to the county board. We’ll keep the public safety committee updated on what action is going to be taken. Because the sheriff’s department is involved, public safety wants to stay updated on what’s going on,” Desmond said.
There is no timetable for when the county expects to hear back from the insurance company.
Marcus Nesemann may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.