Kingman Suit Settled

January 29, 2014

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The City of Kingman, Arizona has paid former city employee Melissa Summerson $50.000 to drop her federal lawsuit. The city made the offer Monday. Summerson accepted the offer and formally dropped her suit yesterday.

In an emailed statement Summerson’s lawyer, David C. Kresin, told the Kingman Miner, “Melissa feels vindicated by the court’s entry of a substantial judgment in her favor on her constitutional claims. Because Melissa was such a good employee with an outstanding record, she quickly found other employment in the human resources field and worked hard to limit the economic harm that she suffered as a result of the city’s illegal conduct. Despite her successful efforts to mitigate her damages, she strongly desired to obtain a judgment holding the city liable for its actions and succeeded in that effort.”

Summerson filed the suit on May 9, 2013.

The Back Story

Summerson went to work for the city as a police dispatcher in 1996. She transferred to another city job two years later. The Kingman City Manager and the supervisor who eventually fired her attended her wedding in December 1999. She became Kingman’s Human Resources Administrator in April 2002. Her husband William joined the Desert Road Riders Motorcycle Club in 2004. Both Summersons ride Harley-Davidsons.

The Summersons moved to Pennsylvania to care for a terminally ill relative in 2006 but returned to Kingman in 2011. She was offered the job of Dispatch Director in February 2012 but turned it down because she wanted to pursue a career in human resources. Her performance reviews were all outstanding.

In October 2012, after the state of Arizona launched a federally funded war on motorcyclists in Northwestern Arizona, federal and state officials identified the Desert Road Riders as an “outlaw motorcycle gang.” The Desert Low Riders is a one piece patch club that is widely regarded to be a family club. The outlaw designation was based on the Desert Low Riders membership in the Arizona Confederation of Clubs which includes numerous clubs, such as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, that wear a three piece patch.

Summerson’s Firing

Summerson was fired after a Kingman police officer named Donald A. Daughty wrote an internal report that stated that William Summerson was a member of the Desert Road Riders, that Melissa Summerson had been observed “selling DRRMC raffle tickets,” and that William Summerson had not ridden in a Kingman Police Department charity motorcycle ride which forbid participation by members of motorcycle clubs.

Doughty’s report also alleged that “outlaw motorcycle gang members” have “their wives, girlfriends, sisters, or other acquaintances obtain employment in positions where sensitive information may be found.” Doughty also warned that Melissa Summerson might “have access to background and criminal history information if her position involves the hiring of new employees.” Doughty also reported that Melissa Summerson appeared in photos on the Desert Road Riders website.

Three days after Christmas 2012, Melissa Summerson was fired because she was associated with the Desert Road Riders which was a “documented criminal Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG)” and “a support club of the Hell’s (sic) Angels, which is a criminal street gang as defined by ARS 13-105.”




21 Responses to “Kingman Suit Settled”

  1. Catfish Says:

    Too bad it wasn’t $500K more, but good for them. This whole bleed ’em dry thing works two ways and we all know a good lawyer. F’em, and take everything from this imperial Fed Gov’t.

  2. Show-HFFH Says:

    So no one (other than the victim) lost their job? Congrats on the $50,000, but if the same misinformed, power hungry bureaucrats and bootlickers remain in their present positions, won’t this potentially happen again?? Food for thought for the voting public in Kingman…

  3. KC Says:

    I applaud Melissa for stance against the unjust and unfair firing of her. 1 as a member of a Club and a citizen of Kingman. She showed diginty and grace by not sticking it to the taxpayers of the community. I however believe some heads should roll for the accountabilty of the bogus report that was generated thru the KPD and gang task. Not too long ago a bunch of bullshit charges were brought against the HAMC AZ Nomads all that were aquitted by a jury of their peers. Melissa’s judgement should help the anti-profiling bill introduced into the AZ legislature against profiling members of Clubs in AZ. Thank you Melissa and the best to you. KC

  4. JMacK Says:


    Congratulations on your judgement. The monetary value at this point is secondary to the fact that you fought back. Many people would have allowed themselves to be bullied.

    Good luck to you and your family in the future.


  5. Melissa Says:

    I just want to clarify that I did not accept a “settlement”. I declined the settlement offer. What I accepted was an offer of “judgment” against the City of Kingman for damages in the amount of $50,000. I didn’t see any reason to invest any more time and money to take this all the way to a jury to obtain the same judgment just to get more money in damages. I accomplished what I set out to do. An order of judgment against the City of Kingman and in my favor has been file with the court.

  6. Melissa Says:

    I just want to clarify that I did not accept a “settlement”. I declined to accept their first offer of settlement. What I accepted was an offer by the City to accept judgement against them in the case for $50,000 in damages. The case was filed with the court showing judgement in my favor and against the City of Kingman. I didn’t see any reason to invest any more time and money to take this all the way to a jury to get the same judgement for what may have resulted in more money in my pocket. I accomplished what I set out to do, obtain judgement against the City.

  7. Jim666 Says:

    ocmouse22 Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Not this time Johnny law, not this time!!

    A Fuckin men

  8. Meh Says:

    Any attempt to label an innocent group as criminal should be taken to court where it fits the definitions of (I defer to the lawyers here for specific definitions, because specifics matter) libel or slander.

    When the pigocracy thinks it will score an easy win, that whets its appetite for assaulting our freedoms.

  9. ocmouse22 Says:

    Oh yes now that there is a movement in the COC to Save our patches by standing together they (feds) are going to try and take it apart. Not this time Johnny law, not this time!!

  10. Mike 184 Says:

    @Glenn S, Yeah that plant, and many othners in out neck of the woods pulls the same shit. Bring on the temps and never actually hire anyone. It pisses me off most when you are recommending someone as a full hire because they work hard and don’t act like a POS… Managers are like maybe next month. Dumbasses…

    @Paladin, absolutely. Seems that so many public officials pull this shit because they are backed by the taxpayers that the are screwing over. When you are directly at fault I do not believe that our money should be protecting anyone. Hell if I screw up or the po-po is on my ass all that money come straight outta my packet… just sayin’.

    Good for her, and I am glad she feel vindicated. This needs to be forwarded around and talked about.

  11. Tooj Says:

    I am certainly glad that Melissa felt vindicated collecting taxpayer funds. No sense sticking to the principle of the matter when someone is waving 50 large.

  12. Mag Says:

    @StupidRub – “Did I read that correctly, the OMG label came from belong to the CoC? WTF?”

    99% of the population will nod at the most outlandish idiocy and swallow it when their local tyrant starts throwing his weight around and orders more groveling served up.

  13. StupidRub Says:

    Did I read that correctly, the OMG label came from belong to the CoC? WTF?

  14. Paladin Says:

    “If the media characterized this incident as economic capitol punishment for an imagined political offense by a family member that was settled at the expense of the taxpayers, the citizenry might object.”

    Glenn S.

    Unfortunately; this was settled at the taxpayers expense. I hope at some point this fact is pointed out to the citizens of Kingman. Summerson’s award should have been paid by the person that violated her civil rights by firing her.

    I also hope the Desert Road Riders have at least inquired as to their legal standing, regarding a slander suite against the city of Kingman for labeling them as a “documented criminal Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG).”

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  15. StupidRub Says:

    Pardon me for sounding stupid, but did I read that the OMG label came from belonging to the CoC? WTF?

  16. Glenn S. Says:

    IMHO, the problem is not so much what the pigs will do, we know that they will do anything to persecute their targets, their targets’ families, and their targets’ friends (while their own families remain safe from retaliation). The problem is that the citizenry allows this, either by silent consent or by willful support. And the reason more people don’t object to this kind of shit is that the media portrays the pigs as the protector rather than the persecutor, as a matter of policy. If the media characterized this incident as economic capitol punishment for an imagined political offense by a family member that was settled at the expense of the taxpayers, the citizenry might object. If the media pointed out that rendering people unemployable out of concern that they might engage in crime only leaves crime as the only way for such people to earn a living, the citizenry might object. The root problem is that the citizenry has been manipulated into incorporating law enforcement excesses into popular culture and into believing that the abuses won’t happen to them or their loved ones. I’d suggest that any business owner that doesn’t agree with government tactics cull their employees of family members and supporters of pigs, especially in “right to work” states.

    Here in my back yard, about 25 years ago, BMW motor company was given huge tax breaks to build a manufacturing facility that BMW and state officials promised would result in high paying jobs for local workers. That was the case for awhile, but at some point, BMW stopped hiring directly. Now virtually all new hires are through staffing agencies that pay substantially less, and only a small percentage of those “contract workers” are eventually hired by BMW. Many such workers have been employed by the staffing agencies for over a decade, receiving less pay and fewer benefits than the BMW workers that perform the exact same work. A few months back, BMW changed its policy and now refuses to employ convicted felons or allow its contracting staffing agencies to place convicted felons at its factory. Many long time employees with stellar work records were fired.

    There’s a larger problem than one woman being fired in Arizona and it is that employers are enlisting in the war-on-despised-classes under the pretext of “right to work (and fire)”.

    There’s a reason that the pigs and the government and their supporters are empowered to do this kind of shit. The sheep cheer the wolf in sheep’s clothing as the alpha sheep.

    And yes, as OC VAGO said: Fuck you, Officer Doughty. Just because the sheep allow you and your kind to thrive doesn’t make you anything less than a petty little pig. May your next life be as a McRib, fed to a stray dog with rabies.

    I apologize for my overly long ramblings of the past couple of days. Winter sucks this year, its been too goddamn cold to get out and I’m going stir crazy.

  17. OC VAGO 1%er Says:

    Good for you Melissa.

    Fuck you Police Officer Doughty.

  18. JMacK Says:


    I’m pretty sure that “police officer” very likely translates directly to “prick” in some form of the English language.

    The stupid prick likely fell asleep or got caught pulling his goalie on shift after too many donuts and watching Gangland at his desk and needed to come up with something to impress his boss. So he did what many prick cops do and picked on a biker. Because we are easy to find (and usually have nothing to hide from) and he likely lost a girl or some such thing to a biker.


  19. Bill Says:

    Officer Doughty seems like a prick. Must be comforting to know your workplace is safeguarded by the suspicious and vindictive. This seems a pretty clear window into a cop’s mind. “Protect and Serve” is probably something they joke about, if they actually think about it at all. Why start with her? Or, why stop with her? Maybe someone should do a little checking on Officer Doughty. Pretty likely he’s got some sort of suspicious associations somehow someway.

  20. slycechyx Says:

    I wish she could have gotten more, they really shafted her. But very good she did prove they did her wrong.

    I did a ride last year sponsored by the Desert Road Riders, had a great time.

  21. Lik Says:

    Good for her and her husband 50 grand ain’t bad as long as the lawyer don’t nab most of it!! Remember we are all removed from each other by like 6 to 8 people ?? So I’m sure all of us have a connection to some one some where??! Any way good luck with the dough:)

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