Law firm charges Fairfax $85,000 to write second letter in John Geer police killing
We had to spend this money because a US Senator from another state was outraged at what the Fairfax County Cops were getting away with because our own elected leaders refused to do a damn thing for us themselves.
While this is great reporting by the post...I never thought I would say anything nice about the Post.....and they should run more of these stories, but do you think the cops care about this? Do you think it it troubles them, even a bit, that we had to spend more on a single letter than we pay a school teacher in year?
The sad truth is it doesn't trouble them in the least because they know that in the end no will pay the piper for this, they'll get away with it again. And their right.
And once again the question is why have our elected leaders allowed this to happen?
By Tom Jackman
Fairfax County’s decision to hire outside lawyers to handle matters related to the 2013 police killing of John Geer has now cost Fairfax taxpayers more than $225,000, after county officials revealed Thursday that a second letter prepared by a Richmond-based law firm cost at least $85,000. Also Thursday, the Fairfax County prosecutor said he hopes a special grand jury in the case will hear evidence on the case in July.
Geer was shot and killed by Officer Adam D. Torres as Geer stood unarmed in the doorway of his Springfield home on Aug. 29, 2013. No decision has been made by either state or federal prosecutors on whether Torres should be charged, in part because Fairfax police refused to cooperate with a county prosecutor’s request for Torres’s previous internal affairs files, records have shown. In November 2014, as the delay stretched on, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent letters to the police and the Justice Department, asking why the case was taking so long.
Fairfax County officials said their lawyers had no experience dealing with congressional inquiries, so they hired Mark Bierbower of Richmond’s Hunton & Williams law firm to answer Grassley’s inquiry. Bierbower previously represented baseball slugger Mark McGwire in his appearance before Congress during hearings on steroids in baseball. Bierbower helped craft a six-page letter to Grassley on behalf of Fairfax police Chief Edwin C. Roessler. Fairfax officials later said they paid Hunton & Williams $130,000 for their assistance on the letter.
Then in February Grassley sent another letter seeking answers from Fairfax police about the case. Hunton & Williams was enlisted again to help with the response, and county spokesman Tony Castrilli said the bill for the firm’s legal services was $85,261.73, but that “there may be additional outside counsel bills” from the law firm.
In addition, Fairfax retained attorney David J. Fudala to represent Officer Torres in the civil suit filed by Geer’s girlfriend on behalf of the couple’s two teenaged daughters. Castrilli said Fudala was paid $10,192 and the county did not expect any further charges from him.
The Geers’ civil suit against Roessler was settled last month for $2.95 million, paid by two insurance funds, before Torres was ever named as a defendant.
[Officer claims Geer jerked hands to waist, three nearby officers say Geer didn’t.]
Torres remains on duty in an administrative capacity, nearly 21 months after the shooting. Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, who originally referred the case to the Justice Department in January 2014 after being stonewalled by Roessler on Torres’s internal files, said Thursday that he expects the Fairfax Circuit Court to begin empaneling a special grand jury on the case in June, and that evidence should be presented to that group in July. Justice Department officials have given no indication when or if they will rule on federal charges, but they said in their second response letter to Grassley that they did not object to Morrogh conducting a “parallel investigation.”
Below is the second Fairfax County police letter to Grassley, at a cost (so far) of $85,261.73:
(See print or on line copy of the Washington Post)