City Council Set To Approve Almost $5 Million In Police Misconduct Settlements | WBEZ
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City Council Set To Approve Almost $5 Million In Police Misconduct Settlements

The Chicago City Council is expected to approve almost $5 million worth of settlement funds in cases of alleged police misconduct at their meeting Wednesday.

The Council’s Finance Committee approved that and a number of other measures -- including a $21 million tax rebate program -- in a meeting Tuesday.

If the settlement funds are approved, taxpayers will share the burden of the payouts -- the largest of which is $3.75 million. That’s for the death of Esau Castellanos, who was shot by two officers 15 times. Another case involves a former Chicago police officer who the Law Department said has cost the city and taxpayers over $1.3 million over the course of 25 different settled lawsuits.

All three cases were approved Tuesday and are expected to be approved Wednesday.

“I expect that settlements will pass, as they should,” Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa said. “When people lose their lives as a result of a City of Chicago employees ... we have a duty to make that family whole.”

But Ramirez-Rosa said that the biggest item to be passed tomorrow will be the anticipated tax relief program proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The program is Emanuel’s Plan B after he didn’t receive support from state government as he anticipated when proposing and pushing through a $543 million tax hike last year.

If the rebate is approved, homeowners who make less than $75,000 a year could receive anywhere from $25 to $200 this year, depending on how much their property tax increased in 2015.

Chicago’s Director of Budget and Management Alexandria Holt said the city expects to start taking applications for the rebate in the next few months, and would ideally be sending checks by the end of the year.

The Council meeting is set to take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Chicago City Hall.

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