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By Trish Mehaffey
The Cedar Rapids Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa &msash; David O'Brien, Cedar Rapids defense attorney, said the out-of-court settlement between Alice McCabe and Christine Nelson and two state troopers was reached because Department of Public Safety officials said they would handle protection details differently at events from now on.
The Gazette was given a copy of a letter stating those policy changes. It was sent by Eugene Meyer, commissioner with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, to Jeff Peterzalek, assistant attorney general, on May 16.
The women sued the troopers, a Secret Service Agent and a Linn County jailer over the arrest at the campaign rally in Noelridge Park.
During the civil trial, the troopers testified they were following orders from a Secret Service agent, Bruce Macaulay. Macaulay wanted the women to move from an area for security reasons and when they wouldn't, he asked the troopers to arrest them.
The Department of Public Safety did review its proce dures for protection details and made changes concerning how to communicate better with other agencies that are involved in or requesting assistance during special events like the rally, said Lt. Jeff Ritzman, bureau chief of Iowa Department of Public Safety Professional Standards Bureau.
Ritzman said they have talked about videotaping events such as the rally in the future, so there are no questions about what happened. "We just need to set up a good line of dialogue between the agencies and be clear on what each role is," Ritzman said.
The misdemeanor charges against McCabe and Nelson were dropped and the women were awarded $750,000 in the civil trial for being illegally strip-searched at the Linn County Jail following the arrest.

Wire Service
 
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