“He is very, very satisfied, and also very relieved,” Simon said.
Brustin, Chandler’s lead counsel, said: “We are pleased that the settlement recognizes that this was not just an innocent mistake but was the result of very serious misconduct.”
Brustin also said the city has “done the right things in taking responsibility for a terrible act by one of its employees.”
The settlement was reached after federal court-ordered mediation and covers metro government and two police officers who were defendants.
Brustin said that one of them, former Detective Mark Handy, first coerced Chandler into confessing by threatening to arrest his sister for harboring a fugitive and take away her children. Then Handy misrepresented that Chandler had volunteered facts about the crime when all of those facts came from Handy, Brustin said.
Chandler claimed evidence of his innocence was ignored for years because of “a veritable perfect storm of misconduct” by investigators, according to his suit filed in 2010.
He alleged that detectives and officers coerced and fabricated a false confession from him, pressured witness statements, concealed and destroyed evidence of his innocence, and covered up repeated misconduct.
Another lawyer for Chandler, Debi Cornwall, a partner in the New York firm of Neufeld Sheck & Brustin, said when the suit was filed that it was “one of the worst cases of systemic police misconduct I’ve seen in the entire country.”
The same law firm negotiated a settlement of nearly $4 million with the city in a wrongful-arrest lawsuit filed in 2001 on behalf of William Gregory, who was also wrongly convicted and imprisoned.
- Does the money really cover someone losing his or her life while being in prison wrongfully convicted? It devastates not only the inmate but hundreds of others in their circle, family and friends. So many have been wrongfully convicted and more are still sitting in American prisons. What about those that contribute to these wrongful convictions by misconduct? Only awarding lawsuits might start preventing this from continually happening but until we start holding county attorneys, police officers or judges being bribed we won’t see any major decrease. We need to hold them accountable when there is misconduct. Plain and Simple!