Settlement reached in Dahlia case

City officials have reached a settlement with a former Burbank police detective fired in the wake of alleged misconduct during the Porto's robbery investigation, who in turn sued for retaliation, court records show.

Court records filed by former Det. Angelo Dahlia's attorney show that the two parties met June 25 and reached a settlement that includes "a dismissal with prejudice of the individual defendants."

The pending settlement still requires approval by the Burbank City Council, as well as the Authority of California Cities Excess Liability, the board of Burbank's insurance coverage provider. The approvals are expected later this month, the document stated.

Further details on the settlement have not been made public. City Atty. Amy Albano declined to comment since the settlement was not final.

Any settlement, however, will bring closure to every pending issue Dahlia has with the city, Albano said. That includes his internal administrative appeal, as well as his state and federal lawsuits.

Dahlia's attorney Jeffrey Lipow said in an email last week that the settlement agreement had arrived for his review, though he could not be reached afterward for further comment.

Dahlia was placed on administrative leave a month after he came forward in April 2009 with information that some officers were involved in excessive force during the investigation into the 2007 Porto's Bakery takeover robbery, and attempted to cover it up during an initial investigation into the alleged misconduct.

Dahlia reported to investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that he saw officers beat, choke and threaten a robbery suspect thought to be involved in the robbery.

The detective was fired roughly a year later after city officials accused him of being involved in the alleged cover-up. Dahlia claimed that fellow officers threatened him to keep quiet.

Dahlia sued the city in federal court in November 2009, while he was still on paid leave, alleging that he was retaliated against for speech that was protected. Dahlia also sued the city for six state causes of action.

Separately, he appealed his termination internally. About seven months ago, an arbitrator ruled in an advisory decision that Dahlia should not have been fired.

The internal probe into the Porto's robbery investigation cost 10 officers, including Dahlia, their jobs. One of them, Chris Canales, returned to work last month after a lengthy appeal process.

As of May 1, the city had spent $8.5 million on police litigation and administrative appeals for the fired officers.

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