- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A former police detective has settled a civil lawsuit over claims she used her expertise in investigating elder abuse to exploit a Portland attorney.

Diane Miller of La Center, Washington, alleged in the $4 million lawsuit that was scheduled to go to trial this month that defendant Susan Campbell Calzaretta knew the signs of dementia and married Miller’s father - Victor Calzaretta - to get his estate.

Court records show Miller and Susan Calzaretta agreed to a settlement in late May.

Melia Shears, an attorney for Calzaretta, confirmed the deal Friday but said the terms are confidential and her client would not provide a statement.

Earlier this year, Calzaretta filed a defamation lawsuit against Miller and her attorney, alleging they damaged her reputation by falsely accusing her of committing financial elder abuse. That lawsuit remains active.

Miller’s lawsuit said Victor Calzaretta started showing signs of dementia in 2008, and it worsened the following year. He had been friends with Susan Campbell - 13 years his junior - but the two went years without seeing each other until Campbell invited Calzaretta to attend a funeral in February 2010.

They started dating and got married two months later.

Victor Calzaretta changed his will in 2011 to make his new wife the executor and sole beneficiary. He died three years later. If he hadn’t changed his will, the estate would have gone to Miller.

Susan Calzaretta spent years investigating elder abuse as a detective with the Medford Police Department.

In 2007, the state Department of Human Services recognized her as one of 11 “Everyday Heroes” in the fight against the crime, saying she went above and beyond her professional duty by taking victims on outings, walking their dogs, baking them desserts and celebrating holidays with them.

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Follow Steven DuBois at twitter.com/pdxdub

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