Westminster Police Chief Kevin Baker Dropped From Federal Extortion Lawsuit
The onetime Little Saigon bikini bar owner who accused several members of the Westminster Police Department of participating in an Orange County extortion racket today dropped several defendants from her federal lawsuit.
Hanh Le--the alleged victim--is no longer interested in pursuing her claims against the City of Westminster, its police department, police chief Kevin Baker and officer Timothy Vu.
The move leaves Le's civil case ongoing against defendants Kevin Khanh Tuan Do, the FBI-arrested businessman who pleaded guilty in June to a federal prosecutor; Anthony Duong Donner, the primary Westminster cop allegedly used by Do; and officer Phuong Pham.
Le's dismissal of the other defendants occurred by joint stipulation filed inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
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According to the deal, both sides agree not to pursue legal costs, but Le has the right to re-name the dismissed defendants if her legal team "develops sufficient evidence" of their role in the extortion plot before a scheduled October 2015 trial.
Chief Baker and Vu have denied any involvement from the outset.
U.S. District Court David O. Carter presides in both the civil case and the pending criminal matter against Donner, who was also arrested by the FBI in August 2013.
Special agents found evidence an on-duty Donner repeatedly harassed Le, who owned Cuties, to make payments that represented an illegal, annual interest rate of 60 percent on $170,000 in loans from Do, according to an FBI complaint.
Days before his trial, Do--who has personal ties to several Westminster councilmen--pleaded guilty to lying to agents about his extortion operation.
In September, Carter handed Do a $5,000 fine and probation for two years.
This month, the Vietnamese-immigrant businessman wanted Carter to return his confiscated passport, but the judge declined to do so during probation.
Go HERE to see prior coverage of the civil case.
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