Nassau lawmakers approve settlement for former police officer

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Nassau lawmakers approve settlement for former police officer


In a surprise move, a Nassau County legislative committee voted Monday to approve paying a settlement to a former cop who said she was falsely arrested and discriminated against by officers in her own department.

The cop, Dolores Sharpe, was arrested in 2013 on charges of harassment and resisting arrest following a parking dispute. The officers who arrested Sharpe claimed she refused to show her police identification and swung a broken chain at them. She was off duty at the time.

Sharpe was acquitted of all charges, and later sued the officers, police department and county for $24 million, claiming she was targeted because she is Black. The settlement approved Monday was for $650,000.

Just because lawmakers approved a settlement does not mean the county lawyers have to make the offer, nor does Sharpe have to accept it.

The settlement approval comes after Gothamist reported last week that Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder was accused in court papers by one of the officers who arrested Sharpe of using a racial slur to describe her.

Through a lawyer, Ryder denied using the racial slur. The officer, Charles Volpe, also claimed Ryder blamed him for losing the case against Sharpe. Volpe has his own lawsuit against Ryder claiming that he was retaliated against and denied due process after injuring his hand.

A county attorney drafted legislation proposing the Sharpe settlement on Friday – the same day the Gothamist story was published. The staff summary attached to the bill stated that after investigating the case β€œit is in the best interest of the county to make an offer.”

The measure was approved in an executive session called two hours before the vote.

Sharpe’s attorney, Frederick Brewington, said he had not been sent a settlement offer.



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