Q. Whatever became of Katherine Moore’s several controversies involving law enforcement, and many other issues?
A. Wilmington City Attorney Bill Wolak said Katherine Bell Moore’s two lawsuits against the city were resolved in the city’s favor years ago.
“There are no active cases at this time,” he said in July 2012.
Moore was a trucking executive and member of Wilmington City Council from 1991 to 2005, where she served as mayor pro tempore. For much of her service, she was the only African American on the council.
She is remembered for the two lawsuits she filed against the city of Wilmington stemming from her 2002 DWI arrest by city police, for which she was later cleared. Then 62 years old, Moore was pulled over on her way home after going to Henry’s Restaurant, where she ordered chicken wings, crab dip, an orange vodka tonic and Bud Light at Henry’s Restaurant.
She filed her first suit in 2003 in federal court, claiming her constitutional and civil rights were violated when she was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. She sought millions of dollars in damages.
She claimed the officers involved committed “intentional and malicious” acts with reckless disregard for her rights. Abuses, she asserted, included common law assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and gross negligence.
Two breath-alcohol tests failed to detect alcohol in her system but a magistrate found probably cause for the DWI charge based on officers’ testimony.
Later, citing insufficient evidence that Moore was impaired, then-District Attorney John Carriker dropped the charges.
Moore lost her suit against the city, but appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., which also sided with the city. The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.
Then, in 2006, Moore filed a second suit in federal court, claiming the city’s Civil Service Commission violated her rights in 2003 when it overturned disciplinary actions on two police officers involved in her 2002 arrest.
She sought more than $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages, but that case was dismissed.
Wolak said Moore didn’t appeal the second case.
He added that Moore owes the city more than $1,000 in court costs awarded to the city as a result of the earlier case. The city hasn’t tried to collect.
“The chances of recovering those are nil,” Wolak said.
The last the StarNews heard from Moore she was living in Florida.
Date posted: July 31, 2012