King makes final settlement offer to L.A. council

March 23, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- Rodney King's attorney said he made his final offer to settle Mr. King's lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, even as a judge began selecting a jury to hear Mr. King's case in federal court.

"I gave the city my last position," Milton Grimes, attorney for Mr. King, said yesterday outside U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. "We have moved. We're negotiating.

"They [members of the Los Angeles City Council] seem to be interested in settling the case and so do we," Mr. Grimes told reporters.

Mr. Grimes said he has twice reduced his settlement demand -- first on Thursday and then again at 3:15 p.m. yesterday. Mr. Grimes said he expects to hear back from city officials early today.

The City Council met for nearly two hours yesterday morning to discuss a settlement with Mr. King, but did not take up settlement talks later in the day.

Several council members contacted yesterday said that at that time the earlier proposal of $9 million from Mr. King was the only offer on the table.

"The council is very divided on this," one council member said. "Some want to give him whatever he wants, while others don't want to give him anything."

The city's standing offer -- $250,000 cash and a $1 million annuity that would pay Mr. King $75,000 a year for life -- has been rejected by Mr. King's attorneys.

"The council might be willing to go up to $2 million, but everyone's concern is that King does get money coming in every year and he doesn't lose it in legal fees," the official said.

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