De Blasio vows to settle Central Park Five lawsuit, Ken Burns says

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NEW YORK (PIX11) – Could the Central Park jogger case finally be headed for a settlement? Filmmaker Ken Burns says yes, and that Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio plans to settle the hot button case that ripped the city apart once he’s in office.

It’s a crime that’s gripped the city for years.  Five teens all accused of brutally beating and raping a woman jogging in Central Park back in 1989.  They were sent to prison after police and prosecutors say they confessed but they say the confessions were coerced. The so called Central Park 5 were released when convicted murderer Mattias Reyes was linked to the crime by DNA.  But the city never settled their $250 million dollar civil suit, now Burns who made a movie about the case with his daughter Sara who wrote,a book about it tells the Huffington Post deBlasio will settle.   On Tuesday Burns said, “It didn’t happen.  The good news is despite the intransigence on the part of the cops and prosecutors is that Bill de Blasio, the Mayor-Elect has agreed to settle the case.”

The suit has been dragging on for 10 years with each side blaming the other. Attorney Michael Warren represents the five and says it’s time for a settlement. ” It’s a case that should be settled given the injustice that all of these young men and their families have been subjected to.” Warren went on to say,  “And a case that has lingered on and on and on for years, a case that I’m sure a large segment of the city would want to settle.”

Representatives for  Mayor- Elect de Blasio said he had nothing more to add to a statement he released in January that says in part, ” It is in our collective interest– the wrongly accused, their families- and the taxpayer– to settle this case and not let another year slip by without action.”

But some say a $250 plus settlement would cripple the city while the Central Park 5’s attorneys says their lives were stolen from them. ” It’s incumbent on those in this city who believe in truth, who believe in justice, who believe in morality to impress on Mr. de Blasio and others who have a responsibility of bringing about a proper settlement to make that a reality.”

Even against that backdrop the case has been dragging on with depositions being taken.  There was even a hearing Tuesday and another is set for January 21st.

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