However, another court document states that an audit of the city’s FOIA response procedures that occurred in March 2017 proved that the city had provided other unredacted personnel files to at least one other felon. The city attorney, Mallory Milluzzi, denies that an audit ever occurred.
Judge Says Lawsuit Can Continue
Despite the City of Aurora and Osberg filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis ruled that the officers met the burden of proof to show that there was a state-created danger. Ellis wrote “Defendants perhaps confuse ‘danger’ with whether the private actor needs to actually commit harm to the plaintiffs for a state-created danger theory to apply. If the government throws an individual into a snake pit, and the individual is not harmed by the snakes, but hurts himself escaping the pit, the government has still placed the individual in danger that has caused the individual harm.”
Judge Ellis also cited a case where the City of Columbus, Ohio provided police personnel files to defense lawyers representing a violent gang member who was incarcerated. The judge ruled that the city “substantially increased the officers’ and their families’ vulnerability to private acts of vengeance.”