A Knoxville woman who reported a solicitation from former Pittsburgh police officer Adam Skweres will not be able to continue a lawsuit against the city and its former police chief because she filed it too late, U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak ruled today.
Christie Leonard met Skweres in 2008 and only filed her complaint in 2012, Judge Hornak found.
Ms. Leonard was a witness in a case that Skweres was investigating. He proposed oral sex in exchange for intervening favorably in her child custody dispute but threatened to sabotage her case if she refused, Judge Hornak wrote in a 20-page opinion.
Ms. Leonard found out that Skweres had made similar offers and threats to other women and ended up in contact with the city's Office of Municipal Investigations in 2008, Judge Hornak wrote.
In March, Skweres pleaded guilty to 26 counts and was sentenced to 3 1/2 to eight years in prison. Ms. Leonard sued.
According to Judge Hornak, the sequence of events suggests that "in a relatively short timeframe after the incident with Officer Skweres, [Ms. Leonard] had sufficient facts within her knowledge as to put a reasonable person on notice that at the least, the city could have been wrongfully looking the other way regarding Skweres' misconduct."
The two-year statute of limitations would have ended long before she filed her complaint, he wrote.
The judge dismissed the city and former Chief Nate Harper but did not dismiss Skweres. He has not mounted a defense in the case.
Neither Ms. Leonard's attorney nor the city solicitor could be immediately reached for comment.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.