Here's a doozy: The city of Los Angeles paid out as much money in legal fees and lawsuit settlements as it would have spent to hire of 1,271 much-needed Los Angeles police officers.

The calculation comes from the nonprofit group California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, which states that Los Angeles has spent nearly $137 million dollars to deal with suits in the past two years.

“Not only are these costs outrageous in their own right,” the group states, “[but] the money spent

by the city in just one year could have paid the starting base salaries

for 1,271 police officers.”

The group's numbers don't even include $13 million approved this year to settle claims against the Los Angeles Police Department related to the “May Day melee” in MacArthur Park in 2007, which saw protestors and journalists injured when police in riot gear attempted to clear the area.

“It's amazing that while endless programs are being cut and jobs are

being lost, the city and county of Los Angeles are spending hundreds of

millions of dollars on lawsuits,” said Maryann Marino, the group's Southern

California regional director. “If that isn't a poor use for our tax

dollars, then I don't know what is.”

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