Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"$1.3 million deal reached in bars lawsuit"

From The Journal Times.com:

"RACINE — Seven former minority tavern owners will share a $1.3 million payout with their attorneys in a settlement agreement in the city bars lawsuit approved Tuesday night by the City Council.

"The agreement calls for the city’s liability insurer, the Cities and Villages Municipal Insurance Company or CIVMIC, to pay each plaintiff in the suit $15,000, giving the remaining $1,275,000 to their attorneys: the firms of Kohler & Hart, S.C. and Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, LTD.

"The settlement agreement marks the end of the high-profile 18-month legal battle between the city and former bar owners, requiring the plaintiffs to release and dismiss all claims and allowing the city and other defendants to continue to deny wrongdoing.

"The plaintiffs in the lawsuit first sued the city in February 2014 in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, accusing Mayor John Dickert and more than 15 other defendants of engaging in an elaborate plot to drive minority bar owners out of the city.

"Aldermen — bound by an agreement not to discuss the details of the settlement until after the council took action — did not make any comments before voting 10-2 to approve the deal.

"Alderman Sandy Weidner and former defendant in the suit, Alderman Jeff Coe, voted against approving the deal. Most of the aldermen present for the vote Tuesday, including Weidner and Coe, had attended a closed-door Executive Committee meeting on Monday in which they were informed of the details of the agreement.

"Aldermen Q.A. Shakoor, II and Steve Smetana were excused from the meeting and not present for the vote. Alderman Dennis Wiser served as the chairman of the meeting and did not vote.

"Details of the agreement were released to the media following the vote, but the actual agreement was not made available.

"Dickert was not present during the meeting, but said in a statement issued just after the vote that he was pleased that the matter was resolved despite his belief that the city would prevail at trial.

"'This case was a nuisance to the city and it is good to have it concluded,' the statement read. 'Now it is time get back to growing our city and continuing to build unity among all of our citizens.'

"When asked where Dickert was, City Administrator Tom Friedel said they mayor was attending a conference in Wausau.

"Attempts to reach attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case were unsuccessful Tuesday.

"According to the city press release detailing aspects of the settlement agreement, the plaintiffs’ attorneys incurred approximately $7.2 million in fees and costs."

Read more:  http://journaltimes.com/news/local/million-deal-reached-in-bars-lawsuit/article_0f1ea720-3c41-5f35-bf86-12d22709044d.html

Party on, lying John!

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