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6/7/2001

Boulder attorneys que

The Associated Press

DENVER — A defense attorney questioned a former Boulder police detective on Wednesday about how her bosses could have publicly defended her actions in the JonBenet Ramsey slaying without compromising the investigation.

Linda Arndt claims in a lawsuit filed in federal court that the Boulder Police Department violated her rights and ruined her reputation by prohibiting her from disputing media reports that she bungled the investigation.

Arndt, 40, the first detective on the scene after the slaying, is seeking unspecified damages.

Under questioning by defense attorney Ted Halaby, Arndt said she wanted only to deny false media reports and wouldn’t have disclosed any sensitive information.

Defense attorneys have said the highly publicized investigation would have been compromised if police spoke publicly in defense of Arndt or any other officer.

Lawyers for Arndt and the police department met privately for two hours Wednesday before she was cross-examined, but they would not reveal what was discussed.

Arndt testified she lost $200,000 in wages and had trouble finding work after leaving the department because she was not allowed to defend herself against criticism.

She said she unsuccessfully pursued more than 30 job opportunities around the state before finally accepting a tree-trimming job in Boulder.

“A lot of the time, even with people I knew and had worked with, I couldn’t get a return phone call,” she said.