PUNTA GORDA Fla.- When Rick Goff heard the news on Friday that Nathan Lee's civil suit against the Charlotte County Sheriff's had been settled out of court, he was just as surprised as everyone else in the courtroom. "It was'nt settled how I would have liked to have seen it settled." said Goff today in an exclusive interview with WINK News. Goff is the father of Denise Amber Lee who was abducted by Michael King on January 17th of 2008 from her North Port home. King raped and murdered the 21 year old mother of 2 and buried her in a shallow grave off of Toledo Blade Boulevard in Port Charlotte.
After 4 years of delays, last week, Denise Amber Lee's widower, Nathan Lee's civil lawsuit against the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office for the wrongful death of Denise Amber Lee was finally brought in front of a jury. On Friday the announcement was made by lees attorneys that they suit had been dropped in favor of an undisclosed out of court settlement. By settling the suit out of court, no culpability is assessed for the mistakes made in handling Jane Kawolskis 911 call that Goff says could have saved his daughters life. "I would have like to have seen fault. Someone shown at fault and the way it was settled, it was settled out of court with no fault," said Goff.
Goff says that he is not trying to cast a negative light on his own agency. In fact, Goff credits his peers for helping him through the whole ordeal. But he would like former Sheriff John Davenport, who was running the agency at the time of Lee's abduction, to step up and accept responsibility for the errors committed by his dispatchers on that night back in 2008. "The findings of the internal affairs (investigation) showed that they were wrong and he was stating from the beginning they did nothing wrong," said Goff. The Sheriff's office had no comment about the case or the settlement.