How is this possible?
The city Board of Estimates this week approved a secret $200,000 settlement to a person who had sued the Baltimore Police Department, saying the terms and name would be kept confidential to avoid “unfair damage to the career and reputation of the plaintiff.”
Officials disclosed the amount Friday and said that the figure was wrongly left off the agenda by the comptroller’s office. But George Nilson, the city solicitor, provided the amount and said the city agreed not to discuss the details of case. He called the secret nature of the settlement “extreme” but with good reason.
“It was an honest mistake, quite clearly, that resulted in unfortunate and unintended harm to a citizen’s reputation,” Nilson said. “The community reached a cruelly wrong conclusion about this individual, based on this mistake, and this individual was harmed in personal and professional ways. I’m just not going to participate in furthering that unfortunate harm.”
Nilson said in his three years as city solicitor, such a private settlement was a first, and he did not anticipate the city handling future claims in a similar manner. He also said the plaintiff was not a city resident, but he declined to provide additional details, citing the settlement agreement.
The five-member board approved the payout at its meeting Wednesday. The board meets weekly to approve city spending, including legal settlement payments.Ryan O’Doherty, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, said the plaintiff “demanded confidentiality as part of the settlement agreement. Had we not provided that, the cost of the settlement may very well have been higher.”
“We’ve attempted to provide as much transparency as possible within the confines” of the settlement, he said.
Baltimore City has settled a lawsuit where they will not name the plaintiff, will not name the tort, and will not discuss the details, other than the amount of MY MONEY they used, $200,000