Judith Roderick, an Olympia tax consultant and grandmother, settled her

federal civil rights claim against Thurston County, Thurston County

Narcotics Task Force and former detective Anthony McCormick for $100,000,

it was announced today by her attorneys, Hugh J. McGavick and Shawn Newman.

Ms. Roderick was charged with money laundering by prosecutors for advising

Gideon Israel on placing Rainbow Valley in trust. Although she was never

convicted of any crime, task force detectives seized the assets of her

small business and arrested her at the airport as she returned from a

vacation. The charges were based on information provided by former

detective McCormick and a paid informant, John Maloney.

Ms. Roderick sued in federal court alleging violation of her civil rights,

malicious prosecution, unlawful arrest and unlawful imprisonment. On March

2nd, Judge Robert J. Bryan, U.S. District Judge, issued an order clearing

the way for those claims to proceed to jury trial. The settlement, entered

on March 21, represents the end of the Rainbow Valley litigation.

Attorney Hugh McGavick of Olympia said that "This case illustrates the

adage that the end - getting the property - justifies any means, even if it

takes disregarding basic civil rights."

Co-counsel Shawn Newman added that "We have a Kafka-esque situation in

which the government can take your property without a conviction. Where the

government and the paid informants are like bounty hunters who share a

percentage of the proceeds."

Measures are pending in Congress and state legislatures to reform civil

forfeiture laws. In Washington, groups as diverse as the ACLU and

Libertarian Party supported SB 5935 sponsored by Senator Dow Constantine,

D-King, to make it harder for police to confiscate private property. Voters

in Oregon and Utah overwhelmingly passed citizen initiatives last November

reforming civil forfeiture laws. Oregon s Measure 3 calls for a conviction

before confiscation, took effect in December. In Washington, a diverse

coalition, called Liberty Initiatives, is working on an initiative which

would require conviction before forfeiture (www.libertyinitiatives.org).

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