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Council Rejects Tobacco Funds Use for Rampart Suits

March 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES — The City Council on Wednesday rejected Mayor Richard Riordan's proposal to use $300 million in tobacco settlement money to compensate victims in the Rampart corruption scandal.

The council--voting 10 to 1--decided instead to set up a special savings account and use judgment obligations bonds to pay for legal settlements, which are expected to top $125 million.

Councilman Nick Pacheco voted against the proposal, saying he wanted to keep his options open.

Most of his colleagues, however, argued that using tobacco settlement money to pay off Rampart claims would be fiscally irresponsible, and could end up costing more than using a special fund or floating "judgment" bonds.

In a related matter, members of the council's Public Safety and Budget and Finance committees agreed to allocate $1.3 million to the Police Commission so it can hire staff to analyze the LAPD's Board of Inquiry report on the Rampart scandal. The matter is expected to come before the full council by next week.

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