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6/8/2001

Defense: Cops couldn’t lie about Arndt’s errors

The Associated Press

DENVER — A former Boulder police detective who supervised Patsy Ramsey ’s handwriting analysis testified Thursday she never filed a report on the session.

Linda Arndt also said she took her notes on the analysis with her when she resigned from the department.

Arndt testified in a lawsuit, filed in federal court, that says police officials violated her rights and ruined her reputation by forbidding her from denying press reports that she bungled the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation.

Arndt, 40, said she had trouble finding another job after that. She now earns $8 an hour as a tree trimmer.

Defense lawyers say the department couldn’t lie to the public about the mistakes Arndt had made and would not publicly defend what individual investigators were doing.

Under cross-examination Thursday by police lawyer Ted Halaby, Arndt said she did not have time to write a report on Patsy Ramsey ’s handwriting analysis, although she had reported other events in the investigation.

Patsy Ramsey was tested to see if she was the writer of the ransom note found in the family’s home before 6-year-old JonBenet’s body was discovered on Dec. 26, 1996.

Halaby said police did not learn about the existence of Arndt’s notes until last year during preparations for the trial of her lawsuit. He said Arndt could have been fired if her superiors knew she was withholding notes.

He also criticized Arndt for not going above her direct supervisor when he did nothing to help her.

Arndt said she tried and failed to get help from former Chief Tom Koby but did not try to ask his successor, Mark Beckner.

She said it was clear no one was interested in fixing the situation.

“How many times is it necessary to ask for help and be vulnerable and get no answer?” Arndt said.

Arndt said she believed false reports about her handling of the investigation were coming from inside the department.