Denver, CO

Denver to pay $75,000 to settle lawsuits against sheriff, DOTI

David Heitz

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Tingey Injury Law Firm

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) A man who claimed the Denver Sheriff Department violated his civil rights likely will receive a $45,000 settlement.

The Denver City Council is set to vote Monday on the settlement, ending a federal lawsuit between Sherman Allen and Joseph Potts, Denver Sheriff Department, and the City and County of Denver.

Details of the dispute, which led to the lawsuit, were not immediately available.

Transportation dispute

The council also is set to settle another liability claim Monday.

The council will vote to approve a $30,331 settlement for a lawsuit filed against Denver's Department of Transportation Infrastructure.

The council discussed the settlement during the Dec. 14 mayor-city council meeting. The deliberations were held in executive session and were not open to the public.

DOTI manages road construction, traffic signals and signs, parking enforcement, paving and street sweeping, trash collection, and more. The Sheriff's Department runs the city's jail.

According to a city staff report, the settlements will result in "full payment and satisfaction of all claims."

History of settling claims for use-of-force, civil rights violations

Denver has a history of settling lawsuits against its police and sheriff's departments. Denver paid more than $14.5 million in three years before April 2017 for claims, The Denver Post reported.

During that time, the city settled three multi-million-dollar lawsuits in high profile cases. Those cases also led to major reforms in the sheriff’s department. Those lawsuits:

August 2014: Denver agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle a jail abuse case filed by Jamal Hunter, who was tortured by other inmates while jailers watched.

December 2014: Denver agreed to pay a record $6 million to the family of Marvin Booker who died after a struggle with five deputies.

April 2017: Denver agreed to pay $1 million to the parents of Jessica Hernandez, who was shot and killed by Denver police while driving a stolen car.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career at local newspapers. Today, I report on Denver and Aurora city halls for NewsBreak. Prior to joining NewsBreak, I worked several years as a health reporter and branded content writer in the healthcare space. I also worked many years as a news editor and city editor. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver.

Denver, CO
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