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Cost Of GPD Lawsuits So Far: $1.8 Million

12:16 AM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- When it comes to the lawsuits filed in the Greensboro Police Department controversy, city officials have two options: settle the lawsuits or fight them in court. Either way, they're costing taxpayers.

Since the scandal unfolded in 2005, the City of Greensboro has been losing money.

On Tuesday, WFMY News 2 asked city officials what the last seven years of litigation have cost taxpayers.

Their response: They haven't kept a running tally.

But here's what we found out about the cost a year ago:

The city shelled out $937,000 defending Officer James Hinson's lawsuit, claiming he was unfairly targeted by police investigations because he's black.

The city has spent another $264,000 fighting the class action lawsuit filed by 39 other black officers.

They've spent another $270,000 fighting the suit from Officer Julius Fulmore.

But white officers, accused of targeting the black officers, have also sued the City. Former Chief David Wray's discrimination suit has cost more than $157,000 so far.

Add another $5,000 for a similar case filed by former Deputy Chief Randall Brady.

And another $91,000 for the suit filed by officers Tom Fox and Scott Sanders.

The city also defended former Councilwoman Trudy Wade against a suit claiming she leaked officers' names to the media. The price tag for that was $89,000.

The grand total as of February 2012 was $1,811,963.

In the past year, the City has shelled out more money, but on Tuesday, officials couldn't say how much more.

And don't forget, this also cost City Manager Mitchell Johnson his job, and Chief David Wray later resigned.

Even so, city leaders said it's not about the money.

"What is what's right? How much does that cost? What does liberty cost?" asked Councilman Zack Matheny. "And the reality is, if we didn't do anything wrong, we need to defend that. If we feel that we need to settle, we need to defend that. And so, we got to manage that cost, but we also have to manage social capital."

"It's very expensive to litigate, and I think everyone understands that, and everyone knows that," said Mayor Robbie Perkins.

On Tuesday, WFMY News 2's Lauren Melvin submitted a request for the City to share all of the costs of the controversy with us -- from legal fees, to settlements and unemployment costs. As soon as we get that information, we'll pass it along to you.

Perkins said he couldn't give us a timetable as to when this might be resolved.

However, Matheny told us he hopes there will be some sort of resolution in the next year or two.

WFMY News 2

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