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Judge drops charges of civil rights violations from attorney's lawsuit

A federal judge stripped away two of the charges included in a local defense attorney’s lawsuit that alleges civil rights violations stemming from a failed drug bust by the city, county and a state agent.

Longtime Merced attorney John Garcia’s lawsuit was resubmitted in federal court Wednesday without the abuse of power allegations and a request for punitive damages from the city and county.

Assault, battery, slander and false arrest charges still stand in the case that Garcia wants to go before a jury.

“Some of these government agencies think they’re unsuable,” Garcia said. “I couldn’t live with myself, nor face myself if I allowed the travesty to go on.”

Lawyers assert the city and county officers have done nothing wrong and believe the court will reveal that as the case progresses.“We’re hoping Garcia and his attorney will dismiss the city when they realize it’s not part of the bigger alleged conspiracy by the county and state,” said Merced city’s attorney Dale Allen, based in San Francisco.

Read the full story in Thursday's Merced Sun-Star.