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City Council Rejects Settlement of Zinzun Suit

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday met behind closed doors and rejected a proposed settlement of a court case involving a political activist who contends that a top Los Angeles police official cost him a Pasadena city government job.

Former Black Panther Party member Michael Zinzun recently won a $3.8-million jury verdict against Assistant Police Chief Robert Vernon, who used a Los Angeles Police Department computer to spread information about Zinzun’s 1989 campaign for city office. Because the information used to disrupt the campaign was gathered from public sources--mostly newspaper articles--the council rejected the settlement negotiated by the city attorney’s office and Zinzun’s attorney in hope the verdict would be declared excessive on appeal, said a city official with knowledge of the closed meeting.

“This was an outrageous act,” Zinzun’s attorney, Dan Stormer, said of the council’s decision.

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