ABC 20 Streaming LiveSpotlight 20Pump PatrolRaw NewsIn the KitchenKnow Your Candidates

Forecast

SATURDAY: Sunny. High: 49. Winds: North 5-10 mph.SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Low: 30. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph.SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. High: 50. Winds: South 10-15 mph.Joe ...

more »

Advertise with us!

WICS 20 :: News - Ready, Set, Shred - Possible Settlement In Springfield File Shredding Lawsuit

Possible Settlement In Springfield File Shredding Lawsuit

This story aired November 21, 2013.

Multiple well-placed sources with intimate knowledge are telling ABC NewsChannel 20 that the City of Springfield and police blogger Calvin Christian have reached a settlement regarding Christian's lawsuit over the destruction of documents he requested in a Freedom of Information Act request.

Sources say the city has agreed to pay out a little more than $100,000 to Christian and his attorneys. But the agreement does not state the city will have to release names of those involved in the shredding of Deputy Police Chief Cliff Buscher's internal affairs file regarding a night of drinking and gun play during a 2008 trip to Missouri.

That is something Christian said was a deal breaker--no names, no deal--when asked by ABC NewsChannel 20's Vince DeMentri in a face-to-face conversation six weeks ago when news of initial settlement talks were leaked.

In an interview with ABC NewsChannel 20 Thursday night, Christian would neither confirm nor deny that a deal has been reached, but he did speak to his apparent reversal on holding the city accountable by naming those involved in the shredding.

"Sometimes you do have to settle," Christian said. "You don't always get what you want with any lawsuit, but I think with all the civil penalties, the attorney's fees, with the price tag over $100,000, I think that would definitely send a strong signal to the city that this kind of conduct cannot continue."

When he filed the lawsuit last May, many doubters criticized Christian as only being interested in collecting a payday, and not really being interested in pressing the city to acknowledge all it knows.

In an interview with ABC NewsChannel 20 Thursday night, Christian was asked if he would keep the money.

"Ah, yeah, I will keep the money," he said.

When asked if the lawsuit was partly about the money, he said, "No, the majority was about the internal affairs records. That's always what it has been about."

Christian's lawsuit was seeking civil penalties of $360,000. His FOIA request and the destruction of Deputy Chief Buscher's IA file led ABC NewsChannel 20 to its nine-week investigation "Ready Set Shred," which shined a light on who was involved, when the destruction of files took place, and the planning behind it. In the wake of our series, Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams suddenly announced his retirement, and head city attorney Mark Cullen abruptly resigned on the same day.

The city of Springfield eventually admitted in court filings that it "intentionally and willfully" destroyed Buscher's IA file, even though it was the subject of a FOIA request. But no names of responsibility were mentioned.

When contacted Thursday night, Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards would not deny or confirm what several well-placed sources tell ABC NewsChannel 20: that a framework for the settlement deal was presented to aldermen during a closed-door executive session on November 19.

When asked how he would vote on a deal that doesn't force the city to name those involved, Edwards said he needed time to think about it.

The deal could be officially presented to city council at their next meeting on November 26.

Possible Settlement In Springfield File Shredding Lawsuit

Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT

Ready, Set, Shred Stories

Ready, Set, Shred: State Police Investigation Complete

City Council Tables Shredding Lawsuit Agreement

Possible Settlement In Springfield File Shredding Lawsuit

Judge Orders City to Release Police IA Files

No Decision Yet on Police Internal Affairs Files

Judge Issues Order Protecting Release of Some IA Files

READY SET SHRED: Mayor's Assistant At Shredding Meeting Accidentally

Mayor's Assistant Involved in Shredding Controversy

READY, SET, SHRED: Williams, Noll Speak After Deposition

READY, SET, SHRED: Williams Testifies in Deposition

READY, SET, SHRED: New Developments Revealed in Deposition Exhibits

County Judge Won't Dismiss Shredding Case

READY SET SHRED: ISP Asked to Investigate SPD Leak

Interim Police Chief Reveals To-Do List

UPDATED: Houston Names Interim Police Chief

Aldermen on Police Chief Search

Mayor Discusses Silence on Shredding Controversy

Executive Session Details to Remain Confidential

Springfield City Council Special Meeting Called

State Auditing Pay Spike for City Police

McMenamin: Release of Executive Session Tapes Unnecessary

Houston Vacationing After City Leader Shakeup

Who Requested Cliff Buscher's File?

Chief Williams Eligible for Perk Upon Retirement

Talk of the Town - Your Reaction

Aldermen React to Leadership Shakeup

READY, SET, SHRED: Part Four

McMenamin, Edwards React to Mayor's Announcement

Chief Williams, Mark Cullen Leaving Positions

READY, SET, SHRED: Part Three

Springfield Aldermen Sound Off After Part Two

Leaders React to Part Two

READY, SET, SHRED: Part Two

Springfield Leaders React to Part One

READY, SET, SHRED: Part One

READY, SET, SHRED: The Series and Supporting Documents

Advertise with us!

Business News

US consumer sentiment index reaches 7-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Get This

JETS-REX-BUMGARNER

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Michael Vick?

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: APPLE'S CEO COMES OUT AS GAY

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple's Tim Cook says it wasn't an easy choice to come out as gay.

 

Tonight on WICS


7:00am
Good Morning America

11:00am
College Football

2:00pm
College Football Countdown

2:30pm
College Football
Pop quiz! Which team leads the nation in scoring? The Horned Frogs of TCU, who laid 82 on Texas Tech last week and average 50 ppg. The No. 7 Horned Frogs (6-1) face the No. 20 Mountaineers (6-2) in Morgantown, W.Va.

6:00pm
Newschannel 20 at 6

7:00pm
College Football
Big Ten encounter puts the Fighting Illini on the road to face the Buckeyes.

10:30pm (after College Football)
Newschannel 20 at 10


Complete Schedule »


WICS Pay It Forward
Scandal
WICS Cheers For The Years
Jimmy Kimmel
WICS Storm Team