Jene Newsome — the nine-year Air Force vet honorably discharged in January under DADT after police in South Dakota, looking to serve a felony theft arrest warrant on her wife Cheryl Hutson, reported seeing their same-sex Iowa marriage license to Newsome’s superiors — was unable to reach a settlement deal with Rapid City. So she’s suing.
As we noted back in March, Newsome teamed up with the ACLU of South Dakota and asked for $800,000 in damages from Rapid City Mayor Alan Hanks and the Rapid City City Council, given the police department “retaliated” against the former servicewoman when she refused to help the cops track down Hutson, who cops wanted to question about a theft in Alaska, where the pair now live in Fairbanks. (The cops claims, in the course of their November 2009 investigation, they notified Newsome’s employers because that’s standard practice. Except Newsome wasn’t part of their investigation. Police Chief Steve Allender said in March no department policy was violated.)
With Rapid City refusing to pay up, Newsome last month notified the city she is going to sue them under state law for monetary damages and lost income.
And so here we stand: A perfectly capable woman kicked out of the military because state cops stabbed her in the back. I’m sure her attorneys have already looked into the possibility of taking her claim to federal court — and suing the U.S. government, claiming not only that DADT is unconstitutional, but that the military violated the specifics of the law. Namely, Newsome did not tell brass about her sexuality; a vindictive third party did.