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Sparks council to consider $2 million settlement with older woman assaulted by firefighter


The Sparks City Council on Tuesday will consider a $2 million settlement with Maureen Hvegholm, the woman who was dropped on her face by a Sparks firefighter in late 2022.

Hvegholm, then 84, was feeding cats in an alley adjacent to a Sparks Fire station. An independent investigation into the case, which the city tried to keep secret, determined firefighter Timothy Egan lied about the altercation.

Christopher Darcy with the Fairfax Consulting Group of Las Vegas, who did the independent investigation, found Egan instigated the altercation, lied about it and violated department policies and state laws. (Read it here.) Egan claimed Hvegholm attacked him. 

“Egan was responsible for creating the physical altercation between himself and Hvegholm,” Darcy wrote. “Egan initiated contact by approaching Hvegholm, attempting to take and throw away items she believed were hers. Egan used what officers described as disproportional force by throwing Hvegholm to the ground, causing her to land face first and injuring her forehead.”

Hvegholm recently filed a motion in court to include two Sparks Police officers, Kristopher Postma and Brandon Smith, in the lawsuit. She alleged the two conspired to make it look like she was at fault for the incident and fabricated evidence. 

“Based on Darcy’s report, Hvegholm alleges that [Sparks Police] Officers Postma and Smith made inconsistent and fabricated claims in their reports on the incident involving Hvegholm in their body-worn camera footage, their statements to Darcy, and the reports they filed, violating Hvegholm’s constitutional rights,” the new court filing claims.

Hvegholm sued Egan last year, but a local judge said the City of Sparks also had to be named as a defendant. 

Hvegholm’s family members earlier this year called the situation a conspiracy between the City of Sparks, the Sparks City Attorney and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

“Timothy Egan tried to set up my mother-in-law for throwing cat food on a coworker’s car and was suspended, but he slams my 84-year-old mother-in-law head first into the street, and there are no consequences?” Kelly Hvegholm told This Is Reno. “I’m appalled at the results and want to know what it takes to get fired from the City of Sparks. What in the hell is wrong with these people?

“How many more people have been assaulted and wrongfully accused? I have lost all belief in our local government,” she added.

Darcy did not recommend criminal charges against Egan. Still, he said violations of Nevada law were “listed as considerations for internal employee violations as they pertain to the City of Sparks and SFD.”

According to the council’s meeting agenda, Hvegholm sought $2.7 million for “current and future healthcare needs.” Hvegholm later offered to settle the lawsuit for $2 million. The council can accept, modify or reject the settlement offer. 

Disclosure: Hvegholm is represented by attorney Luke Busby, who represents This Is Reno in public records litigation. He did not provide information or comment on this story.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.