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Newport Police Chief, Officer Sue Businessman : Litigation: They seek $1 million each for emotional distress and damage to their reputations because of a civil-rights lawsuit he filed against them in 1989.


LOS ANGELES — The Newport Beach police chief and a police lieutenant have filed a civil suit against a businessman they claim wrongly accused them of violating his civil rights during an arrest in 1989.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, seeks $1 million in damages each for Chief Arb Campbell and Lt. Tim Riley for emotional distress and damage to their reputations because of a civil-rights lawsuit filed by then-Newport Beach resident Everett Temme.

Campbell and Riley allege in their suit that Temme acted "maliciously" when he filed his suit against them in May, 1989.

Temme's "acts were willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive and done in (conscious) disregard of the plaintiffs' rights," says the suit, which was filed in April and served on Temme this week.

Temme, who now lives in northern Nevada but operates an advertising firm in Newport Beach, was unavailable for comment.

Temme had claimed in his lawsuit that he was improperly treated while at the Newport Beach jail after being arrested on a domestic dispute charge in 1987. Named as defendants were Campbell, Riley, the city and a fourth defendant, Nelson Ferguson, who was a non-sworn jailer with the Police Department at the time.

Temme claimed that Ferguson assaulted him during a cell transfer, slamming his head against the concrete walls and causing head and shoulder injuries.

Temme sought $5 million in damages from Ferguson, Riley, who was the watch commander at the time, and Campbell.

In September, 1991, Temme dropped Riley from the suit, and a trial court dismissed the action against Campbell. The case against Ferguson was heard by a jury, which exonerated him of using excessive force.

U.S. District Judge David Kenyon ruled that Temme's suit against Riley and Campbell was frivolous, which allowed the two to sue for damages.

Temme had filed a similar lawsuit against the Police Department and the city in 1986, alleging that he was beat by police after a traffic incident. That lawsuit is still pending, City Atty. Robert H. Burnham said Thursday.

Jeffrey M. Epstein, an attorney for Campbell and Riley, said his clients are seeking damages of $1 million each, plus any additional court costs, for damages to "fame, reputation and character" and "emotional distress" because of Temme's suit.

Campbell and Riley, who is on staff but not working in the department, and Ferguson, who is no longer with the department, were available for comment.

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