Federal lawsuit filed against Pleasanton police officer, Alameda deputy and San Ramon attorney
Lawsuit asks for $3 million in damages, claims city and county did little to stop illegal actions
A Pleasanton man has filed a $3 million federal lawsuit against a local police officer, an Alameda County sheriff's deputy and a San Ramon attorney.
Brian Lancaster is asking for a jury trial, claiming, among other things, false arrest and false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit stems from a bitter divorce and custody battle. In court documents, Lancaster claims his ex-wife, Lisa Secord, convinced San Ramon family attorney Leslie Regina to obtain confidential documents. Lancaster also alleges her current husband, Trey Secord, recruited his friend, Pleasanton police Officer Tim Martens, to arrest him by planting false evidence.
In his suit, Lancaster claims Martens, who knew Trey Secord from transactions through his online model car racing business, use his position as a police officer "to conduct unauthorized research and obtain confidential information," and that he used his position as an officer to make a Jan. 16 traffic stop against Lancaster.
"Initially, Martens falsely accused (Lancaster) of unlawfully possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia," and Martens "knowingly filed a false police report," leading Lancaster to be arrested based on false evidence, according to the lawsuit, filed Oct. 9.
Lancaster's lawsuit also claims that both the Pleasanton Police Department and Alameda Sheriff's Office either did nothing or conducted "sham" investigations into the behaviors of their officers.
City Attorney Jonathan Lowell said in a statement this week that the city rejected Lancaster's claim for damages in August 2012.
"The City has not been formally served with Mr. Lancaster's lawsuit, has not yet reviewed the complaint, and generally doesn't comment on pending litigation. From the caption of the lawsuit, it is evident that the City of Pleasanton's and Officer Martens' involvement in this matter is very different from that of the other defendants," Lowell said in his statement. "Officer Martens was never placed on administrative leave. Officer Martens remains employed by the City of Pleasanton in good standing."
Lancaster also claims Regina enlisted her boyfriend, Ryan Silcocks, to provide private information to be used against him. It alleges Silcocks illegally accessed the Alameda County Sheriff's database to get information, then forwarded that to Regina.
In a Jan. 17 email, Silcocks states Lancaster was arrested Jan. 16, that a magazine for an AK-47 was found at his home, that he had "multiple domestic violence restraining orders," and "is 'a known crystal methamphetamine addict.'"
Silcocks, according to the suit, also stated that "'two females are currently in danger,'" although he knew Lancaster had never been arrested for or convicted of drug use or possession.
Lancaster's suit also claims that Lisa Secord, Silcocks and Regina requested that Martens file an amended police report, claiming ammunition was found in his car during the Jan. 16 stop. That led to a Department of Justice search of Lancaster's home.
Due to a temporary restraining order, Lancaster was not allowed to possess firearms. Those firearms later turned up at the Secords' home in Washington state, after a search that came when Lisa Secord was charged with defrauding the YMCA for child care costs, a felony.
Silcocks and Regina were each arrested on misdemeanor charges stemming from the alleged sharing of confidential information; both have pleaded not guilty.