Cleveland hires outside law firm to defend officers in wrongful death lawsuit for Nov. 29 shooting

CLEVELAND - NewsChannel5 Investigators have learned the city of Cleveland hired an outside law firm to represent the city and 13 officers named in a federal lawsuit filed by the family members of the victims of the deadly Nov. 2012 police chase and shooting.

Roetzel & Andress, a local law firm, will be paid an hourly rate of $235 for associates and $275 for partners, according to city officials.

The city's Chief of Communications sent us the following statement about the hiring of outside counsel. It says:

"We do, from time to time, hire outside counsel to either take the lead or assist with a lawsuit in which city employees are named defendants.  This helps us to fulfill our obligation to represent employees.   Under state law, the City has a duty to defend employees who face legal action as a result of their work.  There are few exceptions to this rule." 

The 13 officers fired 137 shots in a car driven by Timothy Russell, 43, on November 29, 2012.  Russell and  his passenger, Malissa Williams, 30, were killed.   


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