- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A former Casper City Councilman has filed a lawsuit accusing the former police chief of conducting illegal database searches about him.

Attorneys representing Craig Hedquist on Monday filed a lawsuit saying former Police Chief Chris Walsh conducted database searches about the former councilman without legitimate law enforcement purposes. Hedquist is seeking actual and punitive damages from Walsh and the city for emotional distress.

“As a result of learning that his information had been obtained and viewed on multiple occasions without a legitimate law enforcement purpose by Defendants, Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, feeling victimized, nervous, angry, anxious and fearful for his safety and the safety of his family and associates,” the lawsuit says.

Walsh, who is running for city council, previously told the Casper Star-Tribune that the database used is not limited to police.

“That’s a public database,” Walsh said. “It’s just an effective means of searching public records.”

He said Monday that he was unaware of the lawsuit.

Walsh, then-city manager John Patterson and the city of Casper are named as defendants.

The lawsuit says Patterson asked Walsh to conduct a database search in an attempt to prove Hedquist lived outside the area represented by his council seat.

Hedquist resigned from the city council in August 2015.

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