CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on findings of a report looking at the city of Chicago’s law department (all times local):
Civil rights attorneys in Chicago are criticizing a report from a former federal prosecutor that concluded City Hall attorneys do not regularly hide or obstruct access to evidence in police-abuse lawsuits.
The 70-page report released Thursday says a review of the city law department cases found just once instance of intentional misconduct by a city lawyer over the last five years.
But private attorney Jeffrey Granich says he and other lawyers could think of multiple cases with little difficulty. He adds that the report’s upbeat conclusion about the overall conduct of city attorneys “strains credulity in the extreme.”
The head of the city’s legal office, Steve Patton, welcomed the report and its favorable findings in a written statement later Thursday.
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.