Man files claim against county over his arrest

A Clinton man arrested by Island County sheriff's deputies in an apparent case of mistaken identity recently filed a complaint for damages against the department.

The complaint, filed by Clinton attorney Rob Born, asks for punitive and other damages arising from negligence, false arrest, false imprisonment and violation of civil rights.

The complaint says deputies went to Frank Milkowski's home April 5 and served him with papers in his name regarding a civil action, but then arrested him based on outstanding warrants against his brother, Peter Milkowski.

According to the complaint, Frank Milkowski told the deputies that officers had mistaken him for his brother before. He showed the deputies his passport, current and past driver's licenses and even a handwritten note by Detective Russ Lindner of the Sheriff's Office "for the express purpose of preventing identity mistakes."

The complaint says deputies didn't look at the note, but handcuffed Milkowski and took him to the county jail.

It says jail personnel told the deputies they had the wrong man, and Milkowski was given a ride back to his home. He was "deprived of his freedom for approximately three hours," the complaint says.

Betty Kemp, Island County risk manager, said she recommended to county commissioners that the complaint be moved to the county insurance carrier for investigation, and commissioners agreed.

If Milkowski and the insurance company can't come to a settlement, Kemp said the next step might be for Milkowski to file a lawsuit.

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