Detective, two ex-LAPD commanders file suit against county

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By John Severance


Two former commanders of the Los Alamos Police Department and a current detective filed a lawsuit against Los Alamos County in district court Wednesday, alleging wrongful discharge, retaliation and gender discrimination.

The suit was filed by Santa Fe attorneys George Geran and Linda Hemphill, who represent Randy Foster, Scott Mills, and Paige Early.  The suit contends that the county failed to address a “real and imminent threat caused by a fellow police officer Brian Schamber.

“After bringing the matter of Schamber’s erratic and alarming behavior to the attention of county officials including county administrator Harry Burgess and former police chief Wayne Torpy, plaintiffs Foster and Mills lost their jobs and Plaintiff Early was injured and systematically discriminated against as a result of the county’s failure to address Schamber’s threats to her and retaliated against when she complained about Schamber.”

Schamber, meanwhile, also filed suit against the county and settled for $600,000.

Schamber contended in his suit that then-commanders Scott Mills and Randy Foster allegedly harassed him and tried to sabotage his law enforcement career in an attempt to eliminate him as a possible candidate to replace Torpy.

The Schambers’ suit alleged a laundry list of violations of civil and constitutional rights as well as state tort law. The various counts included unreasonable seizure, search of person, deprivation of liberty without due process, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, false imprisonment, assault and battery, defamation, and negligent training and supervision.

The 37-page suit, filed today, tells the Foster’s Mills’ and Early’s version of events.

As of 4 p.m., county public information officer Julie Habiger said the county had not received a copy of the suit.

A complete story will appear in Thursday’s Los Alamos Monitor.