A Louisiana anesthesiologist who pled no contest last year to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett orchestrated the arrest while having an sexual affair with the doctor’s wife.
Kyle officials this afternoon called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said it was “without merit, substance or viability.”
Glen W. Hurlston was initially arrested Jan 1, 2012 in the north Texas town of Princeton on a felony domestic battery charge, eight months after Barnett became the police chief in Kyle.
Princeton police arrested Hurlston “for the private benefit of [his wife] based on their private relationship with her and … on instruction from former Chief Jeffery Barnett,” states the lawsuit filed Dec. 27 in a U.S. District Court. “This investigation was performed in such a slipshod and careless manner as to shock the conscience of any reasonable person and amounted to a violation of Dr. Hurlston’s rights to life and liberty.”
The cities of Princeton and Kyle are named as defendants in the lawsuit along with Barnett and Princeton police Lt. Robert Mitchnik. Hurlston’s lawsuit says the city of Kyle is liable because “they clothed Jeffery Barnett with sufficient state authority to allow him to use his public office for private purposes, namely harassing and threatening to arrest plaintiff without cause.”
Barnett’s position as the Kyle police chief “allow[ed] him to act under color of state law to conspire with others to deprive plaintiff of his rights to life and liberty under the 5th and 14th amendments under the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit claims.
Kyle officials “conducted a review of these allegations and concluded that Chief Barnett is not in violation of any city rules or standards of conduct that would directly or indirectly influence his status with the city of Kyle,” according to a statement issued this afternoon by city spokesperson Jerry Hendrix.
“The city attorney believes that this lawsuit, as it relates to the city of Kyle, is without merit, substance or viability. The city stands behind and supports Chief Barnett during this difficult time for him and his family. We believe that given due course and time, the true merits of this case will show the frivolous nature of this lawsuit,” the statement reads.
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