A "gorgeous" Santa Fe woman claims a New Mexico State Police officer pulled her over on a flimsy pretext, leered at her, stroked her hand then let her go with a literal slap on the wrist, according to court documents and the woman's attorney.
Candice Korte's discrimination lawsuit, filed yesterday in the 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, asks for compensatory damages from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and the officer, Frank Smith.
"She basically did this to keep any other woman from being harassed," the woman's attorney, Shannon Kennedy, says. "If he did this to her, who knows what else he's doing?"
DPS spokesman Peter Olson says Smith is still employed by the state police and working patrol, "as far as i know." Olson says policy precluded him from commenting further on the details of the court case, which he was unfamiliar with.
According to Korte's complaint, she was pulled over on July 4, 2008. Smith told her "she had not yielded properly. She had yielded properly with [the] patrol unit beside and to the right of her," the complaint says.
Smith took her driver's license and insurance card, returned to his patrol vehicle and allegedly turned off his dashboard video camera, the complaint says. He then allegedly told Korte to get out of her car, which according to Kennedy was a BMW.
Smith "ordered her to hold out her hand...then grabbed her hand and started rubbing his hand against her hand."
"Ms. Korte was very frightened and disgusted because...Smith was looking at her in a sexually suggestive manner.
Defendant Smith then started to stroke her wrist and hand saying this is what I'm going to do for you today. Smiling in a strange manner, he turned her hand over and slapped it.
Smith left without issuing a ticket, the complaint says.
Without apologizing for Smith, Kennedy says Korte is a stunner. "When you meet her, you're like, 'I get it,'" the attorney says of her client. Kennedy says psychological tests make it possible for police departments and other employers to "screen out the creepy guys."