Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Englewood pays $4,750 to settle police abuse case filed by minor.

On March 24, 2007, the City of Englewood paid $4,750 to Brian Lynch who claimed to have been assaulted by Englewood Police officers S. Carnahan, M. DeLarosa, T. Greeley and J. Doyle on March 27, 2005, when Lynch was 15 years old. Lynch claims that the assault took place in a parking lot near Slocum Street, Englewood at eight o'clock in the morning.

Lynch was represented in his lawsuit by Nathaniel M. Davis, Esq. of Newark.

The settlement agreement and the lawsuit referred to above are on-line here.

None of Lynch's allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The entry of settlement agreement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by the City or any its officers. All that is known for sure is that Englewood, and perhaps its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that they would rather pay Lynch $4,750 than take the matters to trial. Perhaps Englewood's decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, it's possible that Lynch's claims were true and Englewood wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial--it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened.

ABOUT ME AND WHY I'M POSTING THIS.

I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project which seeks to increase governmental transparency and accountability, particularly at a local level. As part of my work, I routinely check civil court cases where at least one of the parties is a government agency or official. Most often, these settlement agreements are never revealed to the public. I post them on-line because I believe that civil settlements, regardless of amount, may be of interest to citizens and taxpayers. For more information on the Libertarian Party, click here.

John Paff
Somerset, New Jersey