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King Ordered to Pay $237,958 to L.A. Schools

From Times wire services

A federal judge ordered Rodney G. King on Thursday to pay $237,958 in legal fees for frivolously naming the Los Angeles Unified School District in the civil suit over his beating by police.

Before the trial, U.S. District Judge John G. Davies had dropped the country’s second-largest school district from the complaint, which King brought against the city and police officers present during the 1991 videotaped beating.

Two school district police officers were present when King was beaten in Lake View Terrace on March 3, 1991, but they did not participate in the beating of King.

A jury ruled that the city owed King $3.8 million in damages as a result of the beating, but also ruled that none of the four officers involved were required to pay punitive damages.

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The cash-strapped school district, which is at odds with its teachers over salary cuts, filed a motion to recover its legal costs on the grounds that its part in the suit lacked merit and was frivolous, said attorney Rickey Ivie, who represents the district.

Ivie said King’s lawyers refused to drop the district as a defendant until earlier this year when Davies ruled in the district’s favor.

“We went to hearings and motions over a three- to four-year period because they never agreed to release us,” Ivie said.

“There was never any evidence--in fact all the evidence was to the contrary--that the school district or its personnel ever had any contact with Mr. King,” Ivie said Thursday after the motion was granted.

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Steven Lerman, King’s attorney, did not return a phone call seeking comment.


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