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St. Paul City Council approves hiring outside attorneys for 2 officers at center of wrongful death suit

Mara Gottfried

Jan 26, 2023

Jan. 26—The St. Paul City Council approved hiring outside attorneys Wednesday for two officers at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit.

The city attorney's office made the request because they said representing both officers would present "an impermissible conflict of interest." They say they cannot represent the officers who fired their weapons, along with providing legal counsel to the city and seven other officers named in the lawsuit.

The family of Marcus Golden filed a federal lawsuit last January against the city and the officers. A grand jury cleared officers Jeremy Doverspike and Daniel Peck in the Jan. 14, 2015, shooting of Golden, who was 24.

Wrongful death claims generally have to be filed within three years under Minnesota law. The Golden family's attorney, Paul Bosman, argued they should be allowed to amend the lawsuit to include wrongful death, which a judge allowed in a December order.

The hourly rate for outside legal counsel is capped at $225 per hour, according to resolutions, which the city council approved as part of its consent agenda without discussion.

Monique Cullars-Doty, Golden's aunt, has spoken out against the move, saying said the city shouldn't "throw away an unlimited amount of tax dollars when the St. Paul city attorney's office already gets paid to do that job."

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