City, Bartender Reach Agreement On Abbate Beating, Ask Judge To Vacate Verdict
CHICAGO (CBS) — The city of Chicago and a female bartender beaten by a Chicago cop five years ago are asking a federal judge to set aside the judgment in the lawsuit stemming from the videotaped bar beating.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the city has agreed to quickly pay Karolina Obrycka and her attorneys the $850,000 the jury awarded her, in return for an agreement that the city would not accept fault for the beating, and the jury’s findings could not be used against the city in other cases.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday there’s no mistaking that former police officer Anthony Abbate’s beating of Obrycka was a violation of what the city stands for.
“Anybody who watched that video is disgusted by what they saw, and you’re more incensed because it was a law enforcement officer who’s supposed to uphold the law, not violate it,” Emanuel said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports
But the mayor wants to protect the city against further lawsuits, so the city has reached an agreement with Obrycka’s attorneys to immediately pay her the $850,000 the jury awarded her, rather than appealing the verdict.
“This agreement, in my view, closes a chapter on something – before I was mayor – happened, and it also allows us to protect the city against future lawsuits,” Emanuel said.
Last month, a federal jury found that the Police Department’s so-called “code of silence” emboldened Abbate and other officers to try and cover up the crime.
The city and Obrycka’s attorneys are asking a judge to set aside that verdict, as part of their deal to pay Obrycka the $850,000 she was awarded right away. The city would forego any appeals of the jury’s financial award to Obrycka, in exchange for not being held legally responsible for the beating.
“By reaching this agreement, the plaintiff gets certainty and an immediate payment of the jury’s award. From the city’s perspective, vacating the judgment eliminates the risk that the judgment will be misused in a way that hinders the city’s ability to defend itself in future cases,” city Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said in an emailed statement.
The two sides will appear before U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve on Monday to present arguments on the deal.
Abbate has been convicted of aggravated battery for the beating, and was fired from the police force.