PORTLAND (AP) – A Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by a city police officer who claimed that a man who had accused him of brutality defamed him.

Justice Donald Alexander said Thursday that Portland Officer Kevin Haley’s suit is “baseless.”

Alexander also said Haley lost his right to sue Vincent Dorazio when Portland officials agreed to pay Dorazio $600,000 to drop his complaint against Haley and another officer, Stephen Taylor.

The judge said that if Haley’s suit had been successful, it would make it nearly impossible for public entities to ever settle a lawsuit in the future and would “unravel any settlement that had been allowed to go forward.”

Haley’s lawyer, Michael Cunniff, said his client is considering an appeal.

Dorazio charged that he suffered permanent injuries after the two officers beat him with a pistol and kicked him following a foot chase in Portland in February 2001.

In March 2002, a grand jury concluded that Haley and Taylor did not commit any crime while arresting Dorazio. That finding was the basis of Haley’s suit against Dorazio.

The record $600,000 settlement following Dorazio’s original lawsuit led to a reorganization of the Portland Police Department and prompted an investigation of its practices. The U.S. Department of Justice’s probe is continuing.

The defamation lawsuit was Haley’s decision, Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood said after it was filed. Chitwood said he and Haley’s fellow officers were in full support.

With the suit dismissed, Dorazio plans to sue Haley’s lawyer and perhaps Haley, charging them with filing a frivolous lawsuit, according to Dorazio’s lawyer, Michael Waxman.

AP-ES-07-25-03 0215EDT



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