Report: No pattern of thwarting evidence by Chicago lawyers

CHICAGO (AP) — A new report commissioned by the city of Chicago says there’s no evidence City Hall attorneys regularly hide or obstruct access to evidence while defending police in excessive-force lawsuits.

Those findings were released Thursday following a six-month review of the city law department’s civil rights division by former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb.

Private attorneys have alleged that taxpayer-funded city attorneys often seek to subvert the evidence-gathering process in civil cases to keep damages payouts down or deflect bad publicity from the mayor.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to the review after a federal judge in January rebuked city attorney Jordan Marsh for intentionally hiding evidence in a police-shooting lawsuit. Marsh resigned.

But Thursday’s report says that’s the sole instance of intentional misconduct by a city lawyer over the last five years.