City Will Pay $810,000 in Rampart Lawsuit

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

September 14, 2006

The City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $810,000 to settle a lawsuit by Paul Bastidas, who alleged that Rampart anti-gang officers planted marijuana on him and wrongly arrested him in 1998 as part of a wider police corruption scandal.

Bastidas served 30 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to felony sale of narcotics because, his lawsuit contends, he “felt helpless” against the police officers. A judge later vacated the conviction.

Doug McFarland, an attorney for one of the accused officers, said the settlement does not admit any wrongdoing by police officers, who reported that during a foot chase they saw Bastidas toss away two plastic bags that were later found to contain marijuana.

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