Hansen v. Wilson, No. _____ (Cal. Super., Humboldt County filed late 2008).
Status: Settled in part.

Eureka, Cal. Police Department Communications Supervisor Tawnie Hansen filed the suit late last year against several unnamed "John Does" for comments posted on a (now-largely deleted and no-longer-updated) blog titled "Above the Law" (abovethelaweureka.blogspot.com), written by a blogger using the pseudonyms "Frank Serpico," a name of a former New York police officer who revealed corruption within that department in the early 1970s, and "Bucky Grace."

The blog focused on alleged impropriety within the Eureka, Cal. police department, and dissatisfaction with Police Chief Garr Nielsen; among the statements by "Serpico/Grace" and commenters on the blogs, many of whom appeared to be police department employees, were those allegeding that Hansen and Nielsen were having an affair. Hansen sued over these online comments, as well as other, oral statements, alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The suit initially named 100 "John Doe" defendants; in an amended complaint, Hansen named Eureka Police Department Support Services Manager Devora Wilson as one of the defendants. In August 2009, Wilson settled for $10,000.

The case against the other defendants, including the blogger behind the site, continues.

Links and Court Documents:
Interview with "Frank Serpico": http://khum.streamguys.us/John_Matthews_KSLG-Frank_Serpico042208.mp3

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