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Pittsburgh City Council introduces resolution to pay historic $8M settlement to Jim Rogers’ family

PITTSBURGH — It’s been six months since Channel 11 Chief Investigator Rick Earle broke the story that the city of Pittsburgh agreed to pay $8 million to the family of Jim Rogers, who died after being tased by police in Bloomfield.

>>> City of Pittsburgh settles lawsuit with family of Jim Rogers, who died after being tased by police

So far, no money has been paid out, but on Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council finally introduced a resolution to pay the settlement.

What was the hold-up?

>>> A look at other major City of Pittsburgh settlements after historic $8M awarded to Jim Rogers family

Why did it take so long to get to City Council?

Earle discovered court documents that are shedding new light on the case.

According to those documents Rogers’ brother, Jim Frierson, refused to sign off on the deal.

He reportedly wanted a bigger cut of the settlement.

“It was the most inhumane thing I’ve ever seen.  It was just unreasonable is the word I’m going to use,” Frierson told reporters gathered for a news conference in Bloomfield back in April on the site where his brother was tased.

Rogers died in the hospital the day after being tased by a police officer investigating a stolen bicycle in Bloomfield.

Four Pittsburgh police officers were ultimately fired for excessive force and failing to get Rogers medical attention.

Over the summer, an attorney representing Rogers’ daughter filed a motion to compel Frierson to approve the settlement.

In that court document, the attorney wrote, “…the administrator (Frierson) refuses to complete such fiduciary duties of approving the final settlement petition due to the fact he desires a recovery for himself which he is not entitled to.”

In late September, a judge granted the order approving the settlement.

According to court documents obtained in that order, $3.9 million will go to Rogers’ daughter, $2.7 million to attorney Todd Hollis who filed the federal civil lawsuit against the city on behalf of the Rogers family, and $1.3 million to the estate of Jim Rogers.

The court documents include a complete itemized breakdown along with receipts for expenses incurred by Hollis.

Those expenses are also covered in the settlement

But 11 Investigates discovered it’s still not a done deal yet.

Pittsburgh City Council must approve the resolution to pay the family, and sources tell 11 investigates that some council members have a lot of questions about the agreement, especially after one of the fired officers recently reached a settlement with the city to return to the force.

Three other fired officer are awaiting arbitration hearings in an attempt to get their jobs back as well.

City Council has scheduled an executive session on Oct. 12 to discuss the settlement, and they may vote on it as early as next week.

Earle reached out to attorney Hollis and he said Frierson is entitled to a percentage of the settlement and he will receive that, but nothing more.

Hollis declined further comment.

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