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Thread: Milwaukee aldermen approve $170,000 to settle lawsuits

  1. #1
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    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/96399034.html

    Milwaukee aldermen approve $170,000 to settle lawsuits $75,000 paid in civil rights suit tied to police officer By Larry Sandler and Gina Barton of the Journal Sentinel
    Posted: June 15, 2010

    [img]http://media.jsonline.com/images/199*214/awadallah_-ala.jpg[/img] Awadallah

    Milwaukee aldermen Tuesday settled three lawsuits against the city for a total of $170,000, including a $75,000 deal with a man whose tape recordings led to the arrest and conviction of a former police officer.
    Earl Cosey must share the $75,000 payment with his former live-in girlfriend, Michelle A. Brown. Another $75,000 will be paid to a different police officer who was found to be improperly fired, and $20,000 will go to a gay organization where police shut down a play.
    The federal civil rights suit that Cosey and Brown filed against the city stemmed from a 2005 incident in which Ala Awadallah, then a Milwaukee police officer, shook down Cosey, a parolee, for guns, court records show.
    Awadallah, who resigned from the Police Department, pleaded guilty in July 2005 to depriving a citizen of civil rights under color of law.
    He spent a year in prison.
    Several phone calls recorded by Cosey, a voice mail message Awadallah left on Cosey's cell phone and phone records were key evidence in the case.
    Another settlement hands $20,000 to the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. The center contended that police violated the First Amendment when they closed down a production of the play "Naked Boys Singing" in August 2005. The center contended it had been unfairly targeted because it is a gay organization.
    Police said the musical could not go on because the center failed to obtain a city theater license, required if a venue charges admission to see a performance. But the city attorney's office said the center didn't need the license because it was a nonprofit group, and the show ultimately was staged later that year.
    A third settlement makes a final payment of $75,000 to Milwaukee Police Detective Philip Sliwinski, who was fired after he was implicated in a 2000 sting aimed at fellow detective Edwin Bonilla.
    Although Sliwinski was never charged, then-Police Chief Arthur Jones fired him in 2002. The Fire and Police Commission upheld the firing two years later.
    Sliwinski challenged his dismissal in court and won, getting his job back and more than $220,500 in back pay and benefits from the city. This additional $75,000 covers penalties against the city and attorney's fees.


  2. #2
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    So not only can an officer be sued in equity he can also spend a little time in jail for deprivation of Civil Rights.

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