City calls late attorney's family's suit 'factually inaccurate'

Posted at: 11/09/2012 11:09 AM
Updated at: 11/09/2012 6:05 PM
By: staff

A suit filed by the family of Albuquerque civil rights lawyer Mary Han says APD chief Ray Schultz, former Public Safety Director Darren White and other city officials deprived her of her rights on the night of her death two years ago.

Han, who frequently filed suits against APD on behalf of her clients, was found dead in her car inside her garage on Nov. 18, 2010.

Her death was ruled a suicide.

The suit, filed Thursday by Han's daughter, Katherine Han-Noggle, alleges that 26 people affiliated with APD or the city gathered at Han's home at her death, destroying possible evidence and deviating from standard police procedure.

The suit says that, despite a number of suspicious circumstances at the scene, a top APD commander immediately declared her death a suicide and failed to secure her home for evidence of any possible crimes.

Many of the people who crowded into Han's home that night, including city attorney Rob Perry and others, were not authorized to be at a death or crime scene, the suit says.

Also, two rings worth $100,000 disappeared that night and police have ignored the family's attempts to recover them, the suit says.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney costs and expenses. 

APD told KOB it would have no comment on the suit, and referred us to deputy city attorney Kathy Levy, who said:

"We reviewed the lawsuit and it does not state a cause of action under the New Mexico tort claim statute. The complaint is factually inaccurate. We are confident the court will dismiss it."

Stay with KOB for more on this story in our evening newscasts.

Read the suit:

Han vs. APD