Wrongfully incarcerated man sues city; at least 15th suit filed in police corruption probe
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
9/18/12 at 5:18 PM
Document: Read the lawsuit here.
Correction: A Tuesday Tulsa World story incorrectly reported the court in which a lawsuit against the city alleging police corruption was filed. Thomas Ranes filed his lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of Oklahoma. This story has been corrected.
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A wrongfully imprisoned man who served his sentence before a judge threw out his conviction has filed a lawsuit against the city of Tulsa alleging that police officers planted drugs on his property.
Thomas Ranes, who filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court in the Northern District of Oklahoma, pleaded no contest in 2010 to unlawful possession of a controlled drug. A judge vacated his sentence in September 2011.
Ranes' lawsuit is at least the 15th filed against the city alleging damages as a result of police corruption and civil rights violations.
A federal investigation of Tulsa police officers and a federal agent began as early as 2008 and resulted in charges against six current or former Tulsa police officers and the federal agent, as well as accusations of criminal behavior against five other officers who never faced charges.
The city is an active defendant in at least 11 cases, has settled one and has been dismissed from three others, court records show.
In his lawsuit, Ranes alleges that officers pulled him over illegally and then coerced him to consent to a search of his residence.
The traffic stop came about a month after Ranes was charged with manufacturing drugs, court records show.
Ranes said he had no drugs in his residence, which had been inspected by his probation officer before the police search, according to the lawsuit.
Ranes alleges that after police searched his home and found nothing, they planted the items he was accused of possessing for manufacturing methamphetamine.
He is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.
The lawsuit names former Officers Harold Wells, Bruce Bonham and Eric Hill, former Police Chief Ron Palmer and the city of Tulsa as defendants.
Also named is current Tulsa Police Officer Dan Tedrick, who was among the officers who searched Ranes' home, according to the lawsuit.
According to the suit, an Internal Affairs investigation found that Tedrick falsified police reports in 2000, for which he received a 45-day suspension.
Original Print Headline: City again sued over police scandal
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367