Pubdate: Fri, 12 Mar 2004
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2004 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Greg Cunningham, The Amarillo Globe-News
Bookmark: (Tulia, Texas)


Q: Who will pay the $5 million, the city or an insurance company?

A: Amarillo is self-insured. The city pays departmental premiums into
a fund that also collects interest. The city will pay the settlement
partially with the insurance fund, currently holding $14.6 million,
and partially with seized task force funds, of which the city has
access to between $2 million to $3 million.

Q: How much money will each individual receive?

A: The amount is unknown right now. A claims administrator will
determine each person's share, based on a formula that has yet to be

Q: How much money of the settlement money will go to the

A: No one has answered that question on the record, but people
familiar with the contracts signed by the Tulia defendants say a
standard 33.3 percent will go for attorneys fees. Many of the
attorneys are working pro bono, however.

Q: What happens next?

A: Attoneys for the Tulia defendants will continue to negotiate for
settlements with the other municipalities named in the suit.

Q: How does the settlement with Amarillo affect other towns?

A: The other municipalities, or their insurers, will still be
responsible for negotiating their own settlements.

Q: What happens to the task force now?

A: The task force as it exists today will be dissolved June 1. Another
Panhandle city could take over as the lead agency and reapply for
funds, but Amarillo will no longer participate.

Q: How much was the annual grant for the task force operations?

A: This year's grant, which expires May 31, was for $1,522,418.

Q: Does the settlement affect Tom Coleman's perjury trial?

A: No. Prosecution of Coleman will proceed, though the trial is likely
to be pushed back from its current May 24 date due to other factors.
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