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Court: Indianapolis isn't obligated to pay police officer's legal fees

July 11, 2018

A federal appeals court says Indianapolis doesn't have to pay the legal fees of a police officer who successfully defended a lawsuit accusing him of negligence.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Scott Robinett wasn't entitled to a publicly funded defense under Indiana's public employee indemnification statute, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported.

Robinett and the city were sued by the son of Officer Kimberlee Carmack, who had been stalked by her ex-husband, Sgt. Ryan Anders. Anders killed Carmack and himself in April 2014. Dustin Carmack claimed the police department failed to protect his mother.

After fending off the lawsuit, Robinett asked U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young of the Southern District of Indiana to order Indianapolis to pay his legal costs. Young denied the request in January.

Young found that Robinett had acted outside of the scope of his employment during some of his dealings with Anders prior to the murder-suicide. He also found the officer acted outside the city's interests by withholding information from investigators, making the city not liable for Robinett's actions.

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