|HOULE shortly after his 2012 arrest|
The City Council will vote to settle for $60,000 a federal lawsuit brought by freelance photographer Brian Houle at next month’s meeting.
The ordinance, which the Council will first discuss at the Finance Committee meeting on Nov. 20, will satisfy claims that officer Kyle Jones and others used excessive force while arresting Houle on June 26, 2012 in front of his South Troy home.
Prior to the questionable arrest, Houle and Jones got into a dispute on Facebook over what constitutes a “hero.” Houle referred to himself as one as he described how he extinguished an automobile fire after an accident.
Jones disputed there was a fire, Houle took exception. Jones then called Houle and the two continued the debate on the phone – a conversation Houle recorded and distributed to the media. Jones didn’t outright threaten Houle but he came close.
He was arrested for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for allegedly blocking traffic during the early morning hours of June 26, 2012. Those charges were dropped.
Houle’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, named Jones and other officers as well as Chief John Tedesco, for failing to supervise or train his officers, and the city.
He initially asked for $3 million.
Internal Affairs investigated Houle’s claims against Jones and found the officer violated the department’s computer policy but did not use excessive force.
If the Council does not accept the mayor’s recommendation to settle, the case will proceed to trial.
Houle is represented by attorney Danielle Neroni.