LOS ANGELES — Six years after it was accused of illegal spying, the Anti-Defamation League agreed Monday to a federal court settlement preventing it from obtaining information from any state employee or officer when it knows--or should know--the act is unlawful.
The long-debated settlement, approved by U.S. District Judge Richard Paez, marks the final chapter in a suit initiated by former San Francisco Dist. Atty. Arlo Smith amid charges that associates of the Jewish civil rights group sold information on anti-apartheid groups to the government of South Africa.
Over time, the list of plaintiffs grew to include a number of groups and individuals who said the ADL hired intelligence agents with law enforcement connections to gather secret information about their activities.
While the city and county of San Francisco settled its case last month, those involved in Monday's settlement included former Rep. Mervyn Dymally (D-Los Angeles), former Los Angeles City Councilman Robert Farrell, the National Lawyers Guild and the National Assn. of Arab Americans.