Report: Chicago spent $213M on lawyers in police cases

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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago has paid private attorneys $213 million to handle police or misconduct cases in the past 15 years, in addition to the $757 million paid to resolve the cases.

The Chicago Tribune reported those findings in a story published Thursday. It found that despite having a staff of attorneys who handle such cases, the city brings in private attorneys far more than other cities do.

Attorneys who have previously run the city's law department defend the practice, saying it allows the city to bring on private attorneys with the expertise to handle complicated cases. But the current head of the law department, Mark Flessner, calls the practice "scandalous" and vows to rein in the costs by trying to hire more in-house attorneys.

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