Board can't agree in settlement for deceased inmate's family - New York News

Board can't agree in settlement for deceased inmate's family

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PHOENIX -

She died in a Maricopa County Jail and her family has been fighting in the court for nearly 7 years.

Two weeks ago, the county was expected to settle Braillard case for more than $3 million, but supervisors called off that meeting blaming anti-Sheriff Arpaio protestors for a disruption.

This week, the board was deadlocked on the issue, and one supervisor called out the protestors.

The board stunned observers, when in a 2 to 2 vote, they couldn't agree to pay $3.25 million to the family of Deborah Braillard. The 46-year-old diabetic died while in the 4th Avenue Jail.

Supervisor Andy Kunasek appeared to be one who changed his mind.

"I am not supportive of the settlement as it is proposed today," said Kunasek.

Kunasek seemed to blame Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group whose members spoke out at a previous board meeting.

At that meeting, the board was expected to approve the settlement but, due to the protests, canceled the meeting before a vote.

"There was a number of things that were said that were specific to the case, that planted enough uncertainty in the minds of the public that I think today I feel strongly that in the interest of justice and a fair outcome, a continuation of the trial is the best way to go," Kunasek said.

The activists agreed to stay away from today's meeting, assuming the board would approve the settlement.

"Both sides agreed they were going to vote on it and then all of a sudden they change their mind. Why would they put the family through that again?" said Carolyn O'Connor of Citizens for a Better Arizona.

Wednesday night, the same group who came to the previous meeting planned to camp out outside the county offices in protest.

"They are making a political issue out of this. This is outrageous. There was a settlement agreement on it, her family has been waiting 7 years and now they are going to drag the family through it again."

The lawsuit accused Sheriff Joe Arpaio and other county officials of gross medical negligence. The claim said Braillard was denied insulin for more than two days. She was transferred to a hospital and later died.

So now, the trial, which has already cost more than $2 million, will likely resume. There's no telling how much a jury could award the family.

Follow this story: Protestors cause Board of Supervisors to end meeting early

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