An officer with the Utah Highway Patrol was relieved of duty after allegations surfaced that she falsely arrested more than 40 people for driving under the influence. The New York Times reports that a lawsuit stemming from the allegations was filed on December 14 in Salt Lake City's District Court. The suit accuses Corporal Lisa Steed of arresting drivers who weren't even drinking. In some cases, those arrested were people who claim they don't actually drink alcohol at all. Robert Sykes, one of the lawyers on the case, says in many cases, his clients were arrested even after passing a sobriety test.
In those cases, the charges were either dropped or reduced, but not until the accused had paid bail, had their vehicles impounded and racked up court fees in excess of $1,000.

According to the report, Steed had been a rising star within the UHP – she was even named trooper of the year in 2007. But she was fired in November amidst allegations of wrongdoing, though she is currently appealing her termination. Greg Skordas, Steed's lawyer, said the allegations were overblown, arguing that most of her arrests had stood up in court. Even so, Davis County attorney Troy Rawlings has said he will dismiss any case where Steed was the primary investigator or witness. Three years ago, a Highway Patrol sergeant reviewed 20 of Steed's marijuana-impairment arrests and found that the drivers had no traces of the drugs in their system.


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  • 150 Comments
      Mr E
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does anyone else see the problem in awarding police based on the number of arrests they make? I guess it's better than basing it off of money collected, but it almost might as well be, especially when you get to the quote about each arrest costing "in excess of $1,000".
        XJ Yamaha
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mr E
        What departments in specific are you talking about? Arrests don't warrant awards...perhaps a little better performance appraisal by the Lt., but it's not like they are giving out $1000 bonuses. If she has actually been doing this it's a shame and embarrassment, but too many people take the incidents like this....the ones that make it into the national spotlight, and generalize all police from it.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some cops are just criminals with a uniform.
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      She is all over the news the last month here in Utah. There is even video of her pulling over a car then walking up to the drivers window and tazing the guy out of nowhere.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 2 Years Ago
      The only difference between this trooper and others is, this one got caught. She will most likely fight this until the end. The victims should sue the crap out of her for fines, court fees, lost wages and emotional damage from being locked in a cell. Plus you have a record. Dui is a felony. That conviction has to be expunged from their record. Can you imagine applying for a job and a dui pops up? That is damaging to a persons livelihood.
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 2 Years Ago
      That sucks. Having a DUI on your record hurts you for years and has a huge impact on your life. I hope she pays dearly for those she falsely accused. Sad thing is she's just the one cop that got caught doing this.
      wanna
      • 2 Years Ago
      why is she not under arrest? I don't understand this at all. Any cops out there please help me out. Lives are ruined by cops like this and she "might" get fired? Cmon.
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wanna
        Absolutely. She should be in jail.
        Swordfish
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wanna
        Many cops just love abusing their power. The have a saying "you might not get convicted but you are taking the ride!"
      rc_car_nut
      • 2 Years Ago
      There are bad apples all over the world and it only takes a few to truly give an entire group a bad name. She did wrong and eventually got caught. My personal experience is most police are good people trying to do their job. Nobody likes to be accused of doing something they didn't and the ones that were unjustly arrested will have one heck of a time getting justice. She should be punished at the full extent of the law. There is truly no excuse for this type of behavior. Again the power of the badge got to her head and she abused that power.
        Zeus
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rc_car_nut
        Yeah thats a good point. I think it's important to remember that there are a lot of good cops out there. When I lived in North Carolina there was a cop in my neighborhood who was one of the best cops I've ever met in my life. He was extremely honest, had a TON of integrity and had no ego about his authority as an officer. Unfortunately when I moved back to CA I had a college class with a cop who was in training and actually told me he was TOLD by his superiors that he can say whatever he wants on a police report if it will get HIM out of trouble. At the end of the class he was blatantly coming onto almost every girl in the class mean while he was set to get married in a couple months. Those are the cops you have to watch out for. He had a huge ego on him and I steered as clear as I could of him after the class was over. You could just sense every fiber in this guys body was pushing him to be a cop because of the ego / authority trip it granted him. It goes both ways and unfortunately, while it only takes one bad cop to give other cops a bad name, it only takes one cop to ruin multiple lives. Thats the problem. If a cop breaks the law while on the job, they should be subject to even higher punishment and fines than normal citizens because we are TRUSTING them to uphold the law and SERVE US. Thats why people get so pissed off about this kind of thing. I'm with you and many others on this board, lock her up and melt the key.
      Duck
      • 2 Years Ago
      What I don't understand, is that when I do something ILLEGAL while at the work place, I still get criminal charges. It doesn't matter if I'm on the clock or not. A state employee does something ILLEGAL, and if they are at the workplace they just get disciplinary action up to dismissal. Public sector employees should be treated no differently from all of us private sector.
        ctsmith1066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Duck
        Not everything that is against the law is criminalized. Conduct for which criminal charges can be brought is codified in each state's statutes (and federal statutes for federal crimes). What she is accused of doing is illegal in the sense that police are prohibited by law from doing it, and she is *civilly* liable for that conduct under federal (and probably state) law. Now, it is possible she has also lied under oath for those cases mentioned in the story. And that is a crime that she may be charged for. No charges have been brought yet because the matter is probably still under investigation.
      SirDigsbyCeasar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Should read "most of her arrests had stood up in Utah/Kangaroo court."
      Sandis Grantins
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the allegations are true, then wow... So many ruined years of life for so many people by a "protector". Being falsely accused is one of the worst things. But I don't get it. If American police officer suspects something, he/she can lock you up and straight away give you penalty - without scientific proof? How is that possible and allowed? If this is true, there are endless possibilities for errors and extreme abuse! I can't imagine something like this in Europe...
        Storm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sandis Grantins
        No that is not right. They are arrested and then taken to the station where they get booked. Mug shots and finger prints. They are detaijned until the next morning or able to get bail. In some states the bail is set by a judge, These people have aright to either have a trial by the judge or by jury. The judge , if found guilty sets the fine the person get. SOme just plead guilty to get it over with and others demand a jury trial and there had to be SOME kind of proof that they were in fact drinking. They either blew a certain amount on the machine or refused to take the test, or took a blood or urine test. If they had no drugs or booze in their systems then their attorneys did a rotten job of defending the, because the results always show if there is NO booze or drugs. I can see them getting away with a speeding tticket but not a DUI with the proof we have today of innocenc or guilt, You can make a false arrest but in the case of DUI's there is way too much proof of booze or no booze.,.something is not right here.
          SloopJohnB
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Storm
          It does seem strange that no false arrest lawsuits were filed....
        choicef
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sandis Grantins
        cops are crooked! plain and simple !! maybe not all but most! i worked in law enforcement and my mother-father and uncle were in law enforcement- i met and know hundreds of them- and I dont trust most of them - SCUMBAGS!
      jebibudala
      • 2 Years Ago
      Officer Farva.
      Making11s
      • 2 Years Ago
      No surprise there. Police departments can't legally incentivize making arrests and giving out tickets, but they can make the lives of their officers miserable if they decide you aren't making enough arrests. This model for policing will led to more cases like this one.
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