Former Osgood police officer receives settlement
Wanda English Burnett - Editor
Holly Holt Hoff, a former police officer for
the Town of Osgood, recently received a monetary settlement
from a lawsuit she had filed against Osgood Town Marshal Rodney
Stepleton and the Town of Osgood.
According to information in the "Release and Settlement
Agreement" the lawsuit was filed following an incident
which allegedly occurred at Hoff's Fairground Avenue home in
Osgood in Jaunary of 2003.
In documents signed by Hoff, it reads that Hoff claims that
Stepleton "engaged in an unconstitutional, unlawful and
illegal breaking into Holt's (Hoff's) home, which allegations
Stepleton denies...Holt (Hoff) claims to have sustained loss
of physical liberty, emotional pain and suffering, emotional
trauma and suffering, humiliation and other damages as a result
of the actions and/or omissions of Stepleton and/or Town of
Hoff, who was Holt at the time of the incident, and has since
married, said on her personal time she was involved in an incident
that began at Broomsage in North Vernon that involved arguing
with another woman. Hoff said she came home, but the other
woman followed her onto her property and the argument escalated.
According to Hoff, she was arrested and formal charges of
battery and disorderly conduct were filed against her following
While Hoff admits she's not proud of that incident, she also
stands firm that she could have filed battery charges on the
other person involved, but chose not to. Hoff says that's the
night Stepleton "broke into" her home illegally.
She also made further allegations about Stepleton concerning "alleged
harassment." In the documents Stepleton denies these accusations.
"I had already contacted EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunities
Commission) in Indianapolis, about some things that had been
going on with him (Stepleton), before this incident," Hoff
Hoff said she felt she had been violated by Stepleton's actions
and filed the lawsuit. She was employed with the Town of Osgood
from May 22, 2000, through March of 2003, when she said she
resigned under duress. She graduated from the law enforcement
academy in Plainfield in December of 2000.
"I always dreamed of being a police officer," Hoff
admitted, saying her career in law enforcement isn't necessarily
over, just on hold. In the meantime, the 28-year-old mother
taking training to become a registered nurse and is optimistic about the future. "I've
learned a lot about people through this deal, both good and bad," she
Paul Struckman, member of the town board of Osgood, noted
that the town's insurance company and lawyers basically took
care of the situation, without the board having anything to
do with it.
Marshal Stepleton commented
on the situation by saying, "I just wished it would have gone to court...then
the whole truth would come out."
For an undisclosed amount of money EMCC (Employees Mutual
Casualty Company) the insurance company for the Town of Osgood,
settled with Hoff. In documents signed by Hoff on March 2,
2004, it reads in part, "...the payment of said amount
is not to be construed as an
admission of liability, but said payment is made and accepted in full accord
and satisfaction of disputed claims, and for the purpose of terminating the
dispute and litigation between the parties."
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division by Hoff's
attorneys Hume, Smith, Geddes, Green & Simmons LLP, Indianapolis.