Walker administration settles 2013 Capitol arrest case with radi - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker administration settles 2013 Capitol arrest case with radio host for $75,000

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has agreed to pay a $75,000 out-of-court settlement to a local political talk show host who sued the state after being arrested during the so-called "Capitol Crackdown" on the Solidarity Singers in July 2013.

In agreeing to the settlement with Dominic Salvia, co-host of the Devil's Advocate on 92.1 "The Mic" FM, DOA admits no fault or liability on its part, nor on the part of Sergeant Chris Weiss and Officer Adam Fell - the two members of the State Capitol Police who arrested him.

Salvia filed a federal lawsuit against DOA in March 2014, saying his civil rights were unconstitutionally violated when the officers arrested him, restrained his hands behind his back with a zip-tie, detained him briefly and ultimately issued him a citation.

In his lawsuit, Salvia argued he was there to take photos and observe the Capitol rotunda scene, that he never did any singing or protesting, and that he had been there less than five minutes before his arrest. Salvia also informed Weiss and Fell numerous times he was a member of the working media. 

"I purposely, in my mind decided - I'm not participating - and made every effort not to," Salvia told 27 News.

"The police had no cause to arrest Dom, because he was obeying their order to leave at the time he was arrested and we had it on videotape with sound that he was obeying at the time he was arrested," said Jeff Scott Olson, Salvia's attorney in the case.

Salvia's arrest came on July 24, 2013, the first of several days when Capitol Police made a point of arresting anyone involved in the Solidarity Singalong that summer, on the grounds they did not have the proper permit to be there.

Jeff Scott Olson, a Madison attorney who represented Salvia in his lawsuit, told 27 News he expected to file a class action civil rights lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the people who were arrested for actually participating in the Singalong during July and August of 2013.

"And if we bring a class action, there will probably be several hundred who are eligible to participate if they want to," said Olson, who believes that could result in the state paying out millions of dollars in settlements or court-mandated awards.
    
A spokesperson for DOA referred 27 News to Attorney General Brad Schimel's office for a comment on this story.

AG Spokesperson Johnny Koremenos would not speculate on a possible class action lawsuit, but said Dominic Salvia's case was settled after consultation with DOA in an effort to reduce any further expense to taxpayers.

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