County civil suit case declared mistrial

By Robin Fornoff

CMI PROJECTS EDITOR

rfornoff@cnjonline.com

Plateau has released cell phone records an attorney says are connected to Clovis police Officer Adriana Munoz, but whether she used the phone remains unknown.

Attorney Dan Lindsey says records subpoenaed from Plateau prove Munoz was talking on a cell phone when she nearly hit his client, Clovis businessman Abby Parrish, while driving.

Munoz’s ex-husband Steve Woods, however, answered the phone in question on Friday, said it’s his phone and Munoz “never” uses it.

Munoz, contacted by cell phone on a different number, said she wasn’t talking on the phone and said Lindsey’s charges are without merit.

“I have always been honest,” said Munoz. “I was honest from the start.”

Munoz accused Lindsey of using the incident to smear her and the police department for other civil lawsuits he has pending against the police department.

Lindsey made his allegations against Munoz on Friday in a press release.

Parrish filed a lawsuit in District Court against Munoz in connection with the Aug. 14 incident.

Parrish said Munoz ran him off the road around 6:20 a.m. near Sandia School because she was talking on a cell phone and not paying attention.

Munoz was on her way to a 6:30 a.m. briefing at the police department, according to an internal investigation. Munoz acknowledged to investigators she crossed the center line and Parrish swerved to avoid her. But said she was clearing a fogged windshield and wasn’t on the phone.

Munoz said she arrived at work and heard other officers talking about a call from Parrish.

“I said, ‘Hey, that was me,” Munoz said. “Because I didn’t really think at the time it was that big a deal. There was no collision. We both had plenty of room on the street. He just scooted over and he never stopped his car. He never stopped moving.”

Munoz said she didn’t stop because no one was hurt and it didn’t appear to her that he had struck the curb.

“Mr. Parrish was upset about how his call (to 911) was handled,” said Munoz.

Parrish has said he got into an argument with the command officer who returned his call because the officer didn’t seem to take it seriously. He later hired Lindsey to file a formal complaint.

“Now it’s not even about Mr. Parrish,” said Munoz. “It’s Dan Lindsey using this to turn the community against the police department. It’s just how he works…his tactics.

Police Chief Steve Sanders said Munoz voluntarily submitted her cell phone and investigators could find only one call, about 30 minutes after the incident with Parrish.

Lindsey said records he subpoenaed from Plateau show calls at 6:22 a.m. and 6:25 a.m. on a phone he believes Munoz has used recently. Lindsey told District Judge Fred Van Soelen at an Oct. 25 hearing that another of his clients had received texts from Munoz from the same cell phone number.

Woods, however, answered a CNJ call to the cell number on Friday and said he placed the 6:22 a.m. and 6:25 a.m. calls to his insurance carrier, Progressive Insurance.

“This is my phone, not hers,” Woods said.

“It’s just too much of a coincidence,” Lindsey said. “He places these calls at about the same time she is running my client off the road? There’s no way.”

Lindsey said he now plans to file subpoenas against Progressive Insurance for recordings of the two calls.

No date has been set for a hearing on Parrish’s lawsuit. He is asking Van Soelen to order Munoz complete a safe driving course and award him attorney fees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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