The Oakland, Calif., City Council approved a $6.5 million settlement Tuesday in a proposed class action alleging that the Oakland police for years illegally obtained search warrants based on false or misleading information.
The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco in 2008 by Oakland lawyers John Burris and James Chanin. Of the $6.5 million, the city is on the hook for $2 million and its insurance company is paying the rest.
In a March court filing, the plaintiffs told Judge Thelton Henderson they intended to ask permission to file a third amended complaint that would substitute all the known individual officers as named defendants.
"The city realized they were in a challenging position," Burris said Wednesday by telephone before holding a press conference. A spokesman for City Attorney John Russo said he wouldn't be available to comment Wednesday.
Burris and Chanin were also the attorneys who obtained an $11 million police misconduct civil settlement in 2003 in the Riders suit.
They claimed in recent court filings that the city had said it wanted to follow the model of the Riders litigation -- informal discovery and an eye toward settling the case and controlling costs -- but that "they have done everything but follow that strategy in this case, thereby making it more expensive and time-consuming [than] the Riders litigation."
The plaintiffs contend that the police department's own records show that from 2001 to 2008, more than 57 percent of all warrants based on an alleged drug buy involving a confidential informant were based on false information or perjury.
Burris said the plaintiffs are still seeking injunctive relief in court and are asking for more accountability and training for officers.
Trial had been set for April 2011.