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LA County spent $43M on sheriff's department lawsuits last year

This file image shows inmates at an Los Angeles County jail.

January 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Just days after Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced he is retiring, Eyewitness News has learned just how much the county is spending on litigation involving the sheriff's department.

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.