The two-city fuss over Weston J. Hill, a 44-year-old sex offender given a one-way ticket to Miami, is on the verge of being settled out of court with an apology and a promise by Santa Monica never to do it again, it was reported Friday.
"We have reached our goals and will receive an apology and formal resolution," Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo was reported as saying.
But, in Santa Monica, City Atty. Robert Myers was not talking, except to say, "All I can tell you is that we have had some discussions with the city attorney of Miami."
Myers is charged with negotiating on his city's behalf. He is scheduled to report to the City Council on Tuesday night.
Voted to Sue
Unhappy Miami commissioners voted to file suit after Santa Monica Police Chief James Keane spent $249 of his department's money in March to fly Hill to Florida, where within weeks Hill was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure.
Keane explained that he acted out of frustration with "loopholes" in California's criminal justice system, which allowed Hill to wander Santa Monica's beaches and streets for years, despite dozens of arrests for sex offenses.
"I have no problem apologizing to the citizens of Florida," Keane said Friday. "I have from day one.
"My concern now is that the focus be placed back on this state, because it's obvious that no one in Sacramento is responding to my cry for help."
Keane praised Florida officials for keeping Hill in custody for a mental examination since his arrest there. But, he said, he would never send anyone else to Florida.
"I'm not foolish," he said.
Mayor Christine E. Reed said Friday that Santa Monica has no intention of shipping anyone else out of state and wouldn't have in the first place if the City Council had been asked. However, she said, "I think the council understands why the chief did it."
A Miami judge said Hill will be sent back to Santa Monica after he is treated.