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New Haven will use $15 million from budget surplus to pay Cox settlement

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker (D)
Molly Ingram
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker (D)

New Haven’s budget had a surplus of more than $22 million this year.

But $15 million of it will be spent on Randy Cox’s police brutality settlement.

Mayor Justin Elicker said he is thankful that the city does not have to borrow that money, as originally planned.

“As folks will recall, the overall settlement number was $45,000,000,” Elicker said. “$30 million was covered by insurance and $15 million is to be paid by the city. And thankfully, we do not have to borrow that money because we have the surplus.”

He said the city’s portion isn't taking away from any other program.

“If we had not put the $15 million towards the Randy Cox settlement, we would have put it towards the rainy day fund for a rainy day,” Elicker said.

The $45 million payout is the highest police brutality settlement in U.S. history.

Cox was paralyzed after New Haven police officers failed to properly restrain him in the back of a van and ignored his pleas for medical attention. The officers involved in the case have since been fired.

The board approved the transfer of an additional $1 million to cover the city’s legal fees in connection with the Randy Cox case.

That takes the city’s rainy day fund to just under $44 million.

Elicker said the rainy day fund would ideally be 16% of the city’s operating budget, meaning $100 million.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.