payment of up to twice the amount of damages sought in lawsuits deemed
frivolous by a judge.
Rogan said the bill is meant to keep others from going through what
happened to Lazzaretto's widow and their two young children.
The officer's widow, Annamaria, was named in state and federal
lawsuits filed by a man who alleged he had been attacked by Lazzaretto.
She was later dismissed from the suits.
"That he would try to take advantage of Chuck's murder, to take
advantage of her pension and his children's pension, really angered me,"
For a slain officer's family to be sued "horribly compounds the
tragedy," he said.
Rogan's bill is a companion to legislation introduced by state
Assemblyman Scott Wildman (D-Glendale) in 1998 that seeks to offer
protection from frivolous lawsuits to widows and heirs of state law
enforcement officials killed while on duty.
"I'm pleased at anything that's going to positively affect the
families of peace officers," said Wildman when he heard about Rogan's
Lazzaretto was shot in 1997 when he and his partner, Officer Art
Frank, went into a Chatsworth warehouse in search of an attempted murder
Lazzaretto was memorialized earlier this year when a stretch of the
Ventura (134) Freeway that runs through the area was renamed in his
Wildman pushed through the legislation that led to the renaming.
Community donations paid for the two signs that went up on the Glendale
and Golden State Freeway overpasses on the Ventura Freeway.
Rogan said he has shown Annamaria Lazzaretto a draft of the "Charles
A. Lazzaretto Peace Officer Widows and Widowers Protection Act of 2000."