Former Wilkinsburg Redevelopment Authority chair Kate Luxemburg sued the borough and police department members Monday, claiming that a July 2011 arrest was politically motivated.
Ms. Luxemburg, 66, of Wilkinsburg, wrote in the complaint in U.S. District Court that she backed a candidate for district judge serving the borough.
Later, the authority considered taking possession of an abandoned house on Rebecca Avenue. A man asked Ms. Luxemburg whether he could remove items from the house for salvage. Ms. Luxemburg, the complaint said, did not give permission, but said that removing the items would be good for the authority.
A candidate for district judge who did not have Ms. Luxemburg's support complained about the arrangement, it said. Ms. Luxemburg was arrested, charged with theft and trespassing, and "paraded in handcuffs in front of the television reporters," it said. The charges were dismissed.
Ms. Luxemburg was denied due process and falsely imprisoned, according to the complaint by attorney James Ross. She demanded compensatory and punitive damages. Neither the borough secretary nor police Chief Ophelia Coleman could be reached for comment.