A former Douglas school official has filed a $1.5 million defamation claim against the Town of Oro Valley and its police department.
Jesus Greer, who served as superintendent of Douglas Unified School District, was taken into custody by Oro Valley police May 24 on a misdemeanor alcohol charge. He was questioned because he fit the description of a man who repeatedly offered a ride to a teenager March 4.
Police put out a press release associating Greer as a stranger danger suspect, and Greer says the release damaged his reputation.
The officer at the scene concluded Greer had not committed a crime in the incident. His alcohol misdemeanor was later dismissed.
“OVPD opened Pandora’s Box and let out false, misleading and defamatory headline-grabbing, sensationalized statements," Greer's attorney, Jeff Gould, said in a statement, calling the press release "false, misleading, defamatory, sensationalizing and self-serving from the OVPD public relations standpoint. "This grievously harmed Dr. Greer’s reputation, character and integrity. It is time for the truth to come out, and for OVPD to be held accountable and responsible."
Oro Valley police Lt. Chris Olson said the department is standing behind its release.
"While I cannot talk specifically about the claim, I can tell you that OVPD stands behind the press release and will continue to send notifications to the public when a child reports a suspicious contact with an adult who is unknown to that child," he said in a statement. "These kind of releases are done to alert the community, as well as, seek their assistance. Furthermore, OVPD feels very strongly about letting the public know when the community can “stand down” due to an identification or other information no longer warranting an alert or the need for community assistance."