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The LAPD's 'millionaire cops': L.A. paid $18 milion to settle officers' cases. Too much?

May 8, 2011 |  9:54 am

Talk back LAAn investigative report by The Times' Joel Rubin raises new questions about the LAPD's so-called millionaire cops.

ln the last decade, at least 17 officers have won million-dollar-plus jury verdicts or settlements from the city in lawsuits in which they leveled accusations of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation and other workplace injustices. Dozens more officers have won five- or six-figure paydays.

City records show that from 2005 to 2010, officers have sued the department over workplace issues more than 250 times. The city has paid settlements or verdicts totaling more than $18 million in about 45 of those cases and has lost several other judgments worth several million dollars more in cases it is appealing, a review of the records shows. The city has prevailed in about 50 cases. The rest, representing tens of millions of dollars in potential liability, remain open.

What should be done to reduce what the LAPD pays out? "These cases irk the heck out of me," said City Councilman Greig Smith. Do you agree?