Woman Wrongly Charged With Arson Receives Settlement
SEATTLE (AP) – A Washington state fire authority has agreed to pay an Iowa woman $100,000 after she was wrongly investigated and charged with first-degree felony arson.
The Seattle Times reports that the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority has settled the civil-rights lawsuit with 66-year-old Linda Poplawski of Des Moines.
Authorities say the arson charges resulted from a 2016 fire in a Kent strip mall that leveled a Dollar Tree store and damaged two other businesses.
The lawsuit claims 30-year-old city fire investigator Capt. Eric Pedersen willfully withheld evidence linking the fire to a known gang member after a witness called to report the convicted arsonist.
Efforts seeking comment from Pedersen were unsuccessful.
Poplawski declined an interview.
Her attorney says she spent months in custody.
Poplawski has no criminal history.
Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com