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Once-accused tennis umpire heads back to U.S. Open, to work

By Chris Kokenes, CNN
updated 8:31 PM EDT, Mon August 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lois Goodman is described by her attorney as "the dean of the tennis officials"
  • Last August she was arrested while in New York preparing to work the U.S. Open
  • Los Angeles police accused her in the blugeoning death of her husband
  • Charges were later dropped, the USTA reinstated her, and she will work this year's Open

New York (CNN) -- The U.S. Open tennis umpire who last year was accused in her husband's death until charges against her were dropped will be back at work later this month when the tennis classic takes court in Flushing, New York.

Lois Goodman, 71, was reinstated as a line judge with the United Tennis Association on December 20, after Los Angeles police dropped their charges, and has worked at minor tournaments in Los Angeles earlier this year, according to her attorney, Robert Sheahen.

"To their great credit the United States Tennis Association reinstated Goodman, almost immediately after the criminal case was dropped," said Sheahen.

U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier confirmed in an e-mail that Goodman was re-instated in December. "I would only be speculating, but my guess is she is happy to be returning," Widmaier added.

Last August, as she was in New York preparing for the U.S. Open tournament, police arrested Goodman and accused her of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband, Alan, with a coffee mug, and then fatally stabbing him with the broken mug's shards at their California home in April, 2012.

After a lengthy investigation, authorities dropped the charges in November.

"We received additional information regarding the case," Sandi Gibbons of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in November. "Based upon this information, we announced that we are unable to proceed with the case at this time. The court granted our request to dismiss the case without prejudice."

The district attorney and police were still investigating the case, and would not "make any further statements that might compromise that investigation," Gibbons added at the time.

Last Wednesday, Sheahen filed a complaint against the LAPD seeking unspecified punitive damages and the reimbursement of $100,000 in legal expenses.

Attorney Sheahen said the suit against the LAPD claims false arrest, malicious prosecution and civil rights violations.

"It was their complete lack of training and over-zealousness. The LAPD seemed motivated by their own twisted need for publicity," said Sheahen.

"They did not go by the book. They alerted the media to the arrest. It was just bizarre how the LAPD went on about it."

As of Monday, the LAPD had not received a copy of the lawsuit, according to LAPD Sgt. Albert Gonzalez.

Sheahen described Goodman as "the dean of the tennis officials."

"She's a really respected lady in her field, at home and in temple and that why the charges were even more outrageous," he added.

Sheahen said Goodman would not be making any statements to the media.

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