Hightstown Council Member Sues Borough, Police Department
Robert Thibault is seeking attorney’s fees, damages.
A Hightstown council member filed a lawsuit against the Borough, police department and a detective, alleging a 2010 traffic stop violated his constitutional rights and was motivated by his support to consolidate the police department.
“Why I decided to sue was because [Detective Benjamin Miller] violated my constitutional rights and has not been in any way disciplined by that, and it is to help ensure that there is a punishment, a cost, for violating the constitutional rights of anyone in Hightstown,” Thibault said.
Thibault filed a complaint with both the police department and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office after he was pulled over in 2010 and issued tickets for driving with a suspended license and failure to surrender a suspended license. Thibault alleged his rights were violated when Miller searched his warrant and DMV history, according to the suit.
Officials in North Carolina expunged Thibault’s traffic record after determining the suspended license was a clerical error, and his New Jersey license was reinstated.
The prosecutor’s office did a “paper review” of Thibault's complaint, and Hightstown police completed the internal investigation, which was later turned over to the courts, according to court papers.
In December 2011,a judge threw out evidence from the 2010 traffic stop, called the stop “politically motivated” and said Thibault’s first and 14th amendment rights were violated.
Thibault is suing for humiliation, pain and suffering, harm to reputation, loss of self-esteem and attorney fees, as well as other relief to be determined by the court.
Borough Administrator Michael Theokas said he could not comment, and Police Director James Le Tellier referred comments to the Borough’s attorney.
Miller and attorneys for the Borough could not be reached for comment.