Emory’s Attorney Says Client Was Not Advised of Miranda Rights

Posted February 15, 2008 at 11:02am

The Capitol Police officer accused of setting a Nov. 2 fire in the Dirksen Senate Office Building is seeking to suppress any statements she made during her interrogation, arguing officials did not properly advise her of her Miranda rights.

In court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, WilmerHale attorney Ronald Machen argues that Officer Karen Emory was brought in for questioning by Capitol Police investigators on Nov. 13 and not allowed to leave, contact her union representative, or her father-in-law, William Emory, who is an attorney with the department.

Those investigators did not read Emory her Miranda rights, or immediately tell her she was the target of an investigation, as is required under the Capitol Police’s collective bargaining agreement, according to the documents.

Machen also filed documents seeking to suppress an identification made of Emory by a witness. The witness description matched several Capitol Police officers and does not specifically match Emory, the document argues.

At least 16 small fires took place in Senate office buildings during the fall, most of them in women’s restrooms. All were quickly extinguished by Capitol Police and no injuries were reported.

Emory is only charged in the Nov. 2 incident. She is seeking to exclude evidence not pertaining to the Nov. 2 fire, including “singed toilet paper” found in another restroom.

But Machen also has asked the U.S. attorney to disclose more evidence from the other fires, including event reports, videotapes and radio communications, arguing that data could reveal evidence pointing to others who might have set the fires.

A Capitol Police spokeswoman declined to comment on the case because it remains in litigation.