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GLENDALE : Couple's Claims for Damages Are Denied

September 18, 1993|TOMMY LI

Glendale officials on Friday denied two claims by a Montrose collection agency owner and his wife who accused police of illegally seizing their property and causing $2.5 million in damages.

The claims--seeking compensation for emotional distress and loss of personal property use--were filed Aug. 2 on behalf of John W. Parker Jr., 52, and his wife, Carole.

The couple alleged that on Feb. 11, police illegally obtained a search warrant for John Parker's company, Commercial Collection Service, and the Parkers' home to seize "personal items unrelated to any reasonable investigation."

Police arrested John Parker in February on suspicion of grand theft of city money and conspiracy, suspecting that he bilked the city of money his company was supposed to collect in unpaid utility bills, said Sgt. Lief Nicolaisen. But no criminal charges have been filed, and Carole Parker was detained for questioning only.

The couple filed their claims for damages Aug. 2.

"We believe that the claims have no merit," said Glendale City Atty. Scott H. Howard, who declined to elaborate because the city has a lawsuit against Commercial Collection Service, which used to collect unpaid utility bills for the city. That suit accuses Commercial Collection and the Parkers of being involved in a scheme between 1989 and 1992 that cheated Glendale out of more than $1 million by demanding payment for bills that had never been collected.

An attorney for the Parkers has denied the city's allegations.

"If the city has been overbilled, it was definitely an (accounting) error," said J. Michael Flanagan.

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