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Court orders Brian Olsen to pay attorney fees

U.S. District Court ordered Brian Olsen, son of City Attorney Dave Olsen, to pay more than $20,000 in attorney fees after ruling in favor of Boulder City and Henderson relating to Brian Olsen’s arrest in 2010.

Olsen was arrested on allegations that he unlawfully transmitted nude pictures to himself from a female classmate’s cellphone after she let him borrow the phone, according to the federal court.

After prosecutors declined to prosecute the case because of a lack of conclusive proof, Olsen sued both cities in U.S. District Court. He alleged police violated his constitutional rights to be free of unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.

In his July 23 ruling, Judge James C. Mahan wrote “This suit screams of frivolity,” and federal law entitles defendants to recoup attorney’s fee, ordering Brian Olsen to pay $20,536.

The Boulder City Review was unable to reach Olsen for comment.

Court documents show that both parties agreed that Olsen borrowed the woman’s phone to call a family member, but phone records showed that no calls were made while Olsen had the phone. Both parties also agreed that nude photos of the woman were sent to Olsen’s email address while Olsen had the phone.

Dave Olsen dismissed the claim that he served as an “expert witness” in the case, saying that it would have been a conflict of interest with his employer. He said his son asked him to take a look at the law after the incident, and was later approached by his son’s attorney, Cal Potter, who asked if he would be able to provide a legal analysis of the case.

Dave Olsen claimed he submitted the case to the city’s insurance carrier, and informed the insurer that he needed to be left out of the case because his son was the plaintiff. He said he had nothing to do with the case and was only there as a father.

“I wasn’t included in any discussions or strategies with the case,” he said. “I didn’t get anything from a monetary standpoint.”

Dave Olsen noted that expert witnesses are usually paid well for their services, and said he wasn’t qualified to serve as an expert witness in the case and was unaware that Potter referenced him as such.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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