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Everett City Council agrees to $500,000 settlement in 2009 fatal police shooting

Everett City Council members make no comment in agreeing to settle a suit for 2009 police shooting.

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EVERETT -- With zero fanfare and no comment, city leaders OK'd an ending to a lawsuit Wednesday that will cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
The Everett City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $500,000 settlement with Tanda Louden to resolve the $15 million lawsuit she brought on behalf of herself and her father's estate.
Her father, Niles Meservey, was fatally shot by Everett police officer Troy Meade in June 2009.
City officials acknowledge they've already spent more than $600,000 on lawyers to reach this point in the case. That means Meservey's family will be paid less than the city has spent on attorneys.
The city had earlier this month agreed to settle the lawsuit. It had to wait for the City Council to authorize the mayor to the sign the settlement agreement.
The settlement showed up on the agenda as one of 11 action items. On Wednesday, city elected leaders said not a word about the matter, other than to take a vote.
No one in the audience spoke up either, although several city attorneys and the police chief sat in the audience.
"We've been advised by counsel to recommend you contact the communications representative," councilman Jeff Moore said after the meeting. "We're told it's not a final action on the matter."
Councilman Drew Nielsen, also an attorney, said the city administrators asked the council not to make any comment about the situation while an internal investigation was underway.
Matters involving litigation are typically discussed by council behind closed doors during executive session, he said.
"In light of all the facts, it was definitely the responsible thing to do," he said.
Meade fatally shot Meservey on June 10, 2009, in the parking lot of the Chuckwagon Inn restaurant.
The settlement money will come from the city's annual budget, Everett spokeswoman Kate Reardon said in a prepared statement released just after the vote.
The city sets aside money to pay for claims such as this one, up to $1 million. Amounts greater than that are covered by the city's insurance.
In the same statement, the city said the Police Department would began an internal investigation to determine whether any police department action should be taken regarding the incident.
City officials have repeatedly refused to explain why the investigation has been delayed for 20 months. The decision not to pursue the internal investigation -- something that routinely happens in other use-of-force cases -- has been controversial within the department.
Meade will remain on paid administrative leave. So far, he's already been paid around $116,000 in salary while on leave.
Reporter Diana Hefley contributed to this story.
Story tags » EverettPolice

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