Friday, October 14, 2005

Dennis Reeves Cooper settles with City

Dennis Reeves Cooper, editor/publisher of Key West the Newspaper (the Blue Paper), finally got the satisfaction he has been seeking since 2001 when he was arrested by former police chief 'Buz' Dillon on a specious charge that was later ruled to be unconstitutional. The cost to the City for the settlement was $240,000 -- $40,00 to Cooper and $200,000 to his ACLU attorneys. Add to that what the City has paid its own lawyers, estimated to be $100,000 or more.

Cooper didn't want money at the beginning. He demanded an apology and the firing of Dillon, but the City refused. The City appealed the initial verdict, lost that, and were considering a further appeal. The fact that this settlement occurred immediately after last week's election upset is perhaps a sign of wiser government to come.

I got a kick from what Cooper is going to do with his money. He plans to buy and install the "Buz Dillon Memorial Computer System". And pay his rent.

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