Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

City Braces For More Lawsuit Settlements

Unusual number of claims by this early in the year. City may transfer $850,00 into settlements account.

By - Apr 18th, 2022 06:01 pm
Jericho / (<a href="">CC BY 3.0</a>)

Jericho / (CC BY 3.0)

The City of Milwaukee faces a surge in lawsuit settlements and judgments.

A resolution pending before the Common Council would transfer an additional $850,000 into the “damages and claims” account. The amount comes on top of the $1.23 million included in the 2022 budget.

The new funding would come from the Common Council’s $5 million contingency fund. An additional $300,000 would be transferred to the outside counsel/expert witness fund, which was funded through the budget with $150,000.

“It’s not a particularly good sign,” said finance committee chair Alderman Michael Murphy of the request on April 13. He noted that the request was coming early in the year.

“It has happened in the past, but this is unusual,” said budget director Dennis Yaccarino. “There has been a higher number of claims settled early in the year.”

The top settlement was a $350,000 deal with former police captain Andra Williams. The retired captain sued the city for discrimination on the basis of race and gender when he was passed over for two emergency communication management jobs in 2016. The council unanimously approved that settlement in March.

The resolution says that pending uninsured motorist claims “are in excess of $250,000” and additional settlements and judgments against the city “are in excess of $150,000.”

The lone representative of the City Attorney’s Office to speak to the request was business finance officer Tawauna Swanigan. She attributed the need for funding to “small claims as well as settlements that are approaching finalization” when the resolution was presented to the Judiciary & Legislation Committee on April 11.

Both the council’s finance and judiciary committees unanimously recommended approval of the transfer. The full council is to consider the matter on April 19.

Next Settlement Up

An $8,000 police conduct settlement is expected to be approved Tuesday.

In a 2018 federal lawsuit, Al Holifield, Jr. alleged members of the Milwaukee Police Department violated his constitutional rights based upon an unreasonable search and seizure. The city succeeded in getting a number of Holifield’s claims dismissed, except for the conduct of officers during the search of Holifield’s residence.

The incident started when police officers approached Holifield and another individual as they sat in a vehicle outside Holifield’s residence. Police officers initiated a search of Holifield’s residence after finding drugs on him and learning he had a prior drug conviction.

Holifield alleged the police unnecessarily damaged his residence and left it unlocked, resulting in the residence being robbed and triggering an eviction. Conflicting statements on the condition the home was left in were given by Holified’s two witnesses, his father and his girlfriend, and a police officer. An appeals court had sent that particular matter back to district court for review.

The Judiciary & Legislation Committee, without discussion, unanimously recommended paying the settlement on the advice of deputy city attorney Robin Pederson. The full council is to consider it on April 19.

Categories: City Hall, Politics, Weekly

One thought on “City Hall: City Braces For More Lawsuit Settlements”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    MPD most of the cops are white supremacists who live in the suburbs and exburgs. Not only do they take 60% of the city budget but they also abuse people’s rights and cost the city more millions.

    The law enforcement cartel is a leech on us all.

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