Supervisor Gloria Molina said Thursday that the county spent a total of $89 million on litigation last year.
About $43 million, nearly half of the county's total for litigation, went to the sheriff's department. That's up $6 million, or 16 percent, from the previous year.
Molina says $20 million of that money went to defending excessive force cases alone, up $7 million from the year before.
These numbers include judgments and settlements as well as attorneys' fees.