New London agrees to $50,000 settlement with Lance Goode in civil rights case

New London — The City Council on Monday night approved a $50,000 settlement of a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by city resident Lance Goode, who claimed police used excessive force and falsely arrested him in April 2010 and then planted drugs on him six months later.

The city’s insurance carrier, the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA), negotiated the settlement and will pay the full amount because the city has already exceeded its deductible on the Goode case, according to a memo city Law Director Jeffrey T. Londregan sent to council members.

Londregan wrote that “CIRMA has determined (a) settlement is in everyone’s best interests” because of the costs associated with continuing to defend the city in the case and questions of conduct by police officers during Goode’s arrests.

The settlement was approved by the City Council unanimously as part of its consent agenda.

Two weeks ago, the council met in closed session with Londregan and another attorney to discuss the terms of the Goode settlement, but ultimately took no action at that meeting.

Goode, 46, has numerous felony drug convictions and a history of run ins with the New London Police Department. He was recently incarcerated at the New Haven Correctional Center on charges that he hindered the department’s investigation of the August 2013 shooting death of Jesus “Gee” Pinero.

Goode brought the civil rights lawsuit in 2012, claiming the department’s former canine officer, Roger Newton, planted a bag of oxycodone near his car during an Oct. 20, 2010, arrest. Goode obtained a copy of the police cruiser video showing the traffic stop and arrest in January 2012.

Newton was placed on administrative leave after the video was made public. He later resigned from the department after the police administration agreed to drop its internal investigation of the incident.

In his own lawsuit against the city, Newton claims that he was put under extreme duress and forced to resign.

In a separate incident in April 2010, Goode said a visit to his mother in a city housing complex led to his being stunned with a Taser and smashed into a wall, resulting in a fractured elbow.

Goode was charged with trespassing, interfering with a police officer, assault on a police officer and possession of narcotics. Those charges against Goode were later dropped.

Goode’s attorneys and those representing the city reached the settlement agreement after a conference before Judge Thomas P. Smith last month.

c.young@theday.com

Twitter: @ColinAYoung

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