Settlement Reached in Atlanta Eagle Case (UPDATE 1)
UPDATE: This version of the story corrects to note that the next meeting of the PS/LA Cmte is on December 14.
(APN) ATLANTA — A settlement has been reached in the Atlanta Eagle raid lawsuit, according to court documents cited by Georgia Voice magazine’s website.
“Settlement Conference held on 12/3/2010. The parties have reached an agreement to settle this case, which they believe is in the best interest of the City, its residents, and visitors. This agreement includes monetary compensation and reforms of the Atlanta Police Department. Until this agreement is approved by the Atlanta City Council and by the District Court, the parties and counsel shall not make further comment to the media about this case,” the documents said.
Councilman Ivory Lee Young (District 3), Chairman of the Public Safety/Legal Administration Committee, told Atlanta Progressive News that the PS/LA Committee would have to first approve the settlement.
PS/LA will hold its last meeting of the year on December 14, 2010; however, that is already after the Full Council will have held its last meeting of the year. Meaning, the Full Council would not be able to vote on the settlement until January 03, 2011 at the earliest.
According to Young, it is possible that a special call meeting could be held, but that it would have to be advertised in advance. He added that one special call meeting was already called for December and therefore it was unlikely another one would be scheduled.
Young said the Committee would receive the proposed settlement from the City Attorneys, who would make a recommendation. In this case, it would be a favorable recommendation, if they have already agreed to it.
Young said the agenda of the PS/LA Committee would list the dollar amounts of the settlement, when it is published, and that would likely be the first time the settlement amounts would be made public.
Meanwhile, former bartender Chris Lopez posted on Facebook that the main lawyer for the lawsuit–likely Dan Grossman–had refused to allow him and another employee from signing on as Plaintiffs in the case.
“Nice to know others will profit from me going to jail… Yeah, the main lawyer would not include me and another employee… even with both of us going to jail… funny thing too, he got fired two weeks before me,” Lopez wrote.
Lopez did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Atlanta Progressive News broke the news about the raid the evening it happened. Two weeks ago, APN also broke the news that the City and the plaintiffs were in mediation and that a settlement was near.
APN at the time reported that two sources reported receiving letters regarding the proposed settlement. APN reported that the settlement offers were from the City, although a third source said the proposed settlement was something the Plaintiffs’ attorney had come up with. It is not still not immediately clear where the proposed settlements in the letter originated.
The Court had issued a gag order regarding the mediation and had been displeased that the gag order was violated. After APN published the first story regarding the settlement two weeks ago, all parties had become very tight-lipped about the entire settlement process.
(END / 2010)