SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering a proposed $369,000 settlement with a freelance journalist whose home and office were raided by police last year.
A resolution approving the settlement with Bryan Carmody was on the board’s agenda Tuesday, but was referred to the board’s Government and Audit Oversight Committee, according to a note on the agenda and according to a spokeswoman for the board’s clerk.
The committee has not yet set a hearing on the proposal, according to a staff member for Supervisor Gordon Mar, who chairs the committee.
If approved by the board, the payment would settle an administrative claim Carmody filed against the city in connection with raids conducted by police last spring. Police were searching for evidence related to the alleged theft of a police report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi on Feb. 22, 2019.
Carmody somehow obtained the report and sold it to three Bay Area news outlets.
Carmody, his lawyers and press freedom groups claim the searches violated the California Shield Law, which protects journalists from being forced to reveal their sources or hand over any unpublished material to law enforcement.
City Attorney’s Office spokesman John Cote said, “We think this proposed settlement is an appropriate resolution given all of the circumstances and the inherent cost of further litigation.”
Thomas Burke, a lawyer who represented Carmody in a successful bid for the return of cameras, computers and other property seized in the searches, declined to comment, or to say whether he served as Carmody’s lawyer in the settlement.
“I’m not authorized to talk about that,” he said.
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