(Source: CBS 5 News) Terri Woodmansee, the fired Goodyear victim's advocate who claimed a police cover-up in the hit-and-run death of an 18-year-old boy has settled a lawsuit with the city, claims the case is far from over.
(Source: CBS 5 News) Jered Pendleton was found dead just a day after his 18th birthday.
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GOODYEAR, AZ (CBS5) -
The City of Goodyear worker who exposed the alleged cover-up and police involvement in the hit-and-run death of a man and was subsequently fired from her job for blowing the whistle has since settled a lawsuit with the city. But, Terri Woodmansee told CBS 5 News, the ordeal is far from over.
"His life was snuffed out, and it needs to be settled right and this family needs closure," Woodmansee said about the unsolved death of Jered Pendleton.
"I, to this day, still believe that Jered Pendleton - accidental or not - was hit and killed by an officer of the Goodyear PD," said Woodmansee, who also vowed to continue to fight to solve the case.
The city fired Woodmansee as a victim advocate when she shared her concern that Officer Brad Hardin might have run over Pendleton and the department covered up his involvement. Woodmansee sued for wrongful termination and in December settled out of court for just less than $600,000.
"I feel vindicated," Woodmansee said. "It's been a long five years, and I feel that it shows the public that what I did and what I tried to report was accurate."
Pendleton was found dead on Yuma Road in the dark early morning of April 6, 2008, the day after his 18th birthday. Hardin admitted to driving on the road and feeling a bump just moments before the discovery. The officer took his patrol car home that morning and it wasn't until two days later that investigators examined it for evidence.
"This isn't over - no one's been held accountable," Woodmansee said.
City officials refused to talk about the case because of an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit filed by Pendleton's family. The hit-and-run investigation is now being handled by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
There are no suspects in the death, according to police.
"The settlement for me closes some areas. It helps my family move forward. It helps us pick up the pieces that we lost," Woodmansee said.
Still, there is still some unfinished business, Woodmansee said.
"There's no doubt in my mind of what I believe happened that night, and from what I have seen in evidence that (an officer was) involved. And I still want justice for Jered and his family," she said.
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