Los Angeles County spent more than $145 million fighting and paying for lawsuits alleging wrongful conviction, excessive use of force, medical malpractice and violation of federal clean water laws, among other claims, during fiscal year 2016-17, according to a report received Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.
The data, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, was approved without any comment from the board as a “receive and file” item. In years past, the board has called for a presentation on the data, which provides a look into mistakes made and has been a catalyst for reform.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who chairs the board, submitted a motion, approved by the full board, designating all future reports for “receive and file” treatment.
Basically the issue has been swept under the rug.
The report was not on a list of pre-board meeting “highlights” published weekly by the county’s public information office, though the $1.3 million purchase of a mobile compounding pharmacy was listed as an item of interest.
According to the report, nearly half of the $145 million total was spent on attorneys’ fees and expenses, the bulk of it to outside counsel. Those fees and costs were up about 9 percent over 2015-16 levels.
The balance was spent paying out $70.2 million to settle 242 cases and $9.1 million to satisfy nine judgments. Those numbers were up year-over- year largely because of a $10.1 million payout to Francisco Carrillo Jr., who spent 20 years of a life sentence in prison for a fatal drive-by shooting in Lynwood before a judge overturned his conviction.