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L.A. County Agrees to $925,000 Settlement in Police Brutality Case

October 24, 1991

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A county claims board approved $925,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought against 13 sheriff’s deputies accused of beating three men after one of them insulted a deputy.

The settlement approved Wednesday will come before the Board of Supervisors in about two weeks. The supervisors must authorize payment.

Assistant County Counsel Robert Ambrose said county attorneys agreed to settle before the case went to trial in U.S. District Court. He said the trial judge recommended an out-of-court settlement.

The plaintiffs were Scott Mace, 27; his 61-year-old father, Leigh; and their friend Russell Trice, 27. The suburban Temple City men were represented by attorney Thomas Barham.

The three were allegedly beaten by two sheriff’s deputies who were called to a Temple City apartment complex to investigate a raucus party, and later by other deputies at the sheriff’s station.

Barham said the deputies had initially encountered Scott Mace, who had a blood-alcohol level of 1.6 percent, double the legal limit. He told Deputy Michael Thomas: ″Get a real job. You’re too fat to be a deputy sheriff.″

The beatings followed, Barham said.

The younger Mace had to have a testicle removed the next day. Trice suffered serious back injuries and Mace’s father suffered broken ribs and a broken toe.

Ambrose said he did not know what disciplinary actions were taken against the deputies. He said the Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal investigation. The department did not issue any comment on the settlement.

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