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May 3, 2004

CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
(617) 989-6650
cell: (617) 828-5134


The Massachusetts Senate approved a $2 million appropriation to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department to help defray the cost of a $5.3 million settlement the Department agreed to pay in 2002 in the Mack v. Suffolk County lawsuit.

"I am grateful that the Legislature recognized the need for the appropriation. The deficit caused by the $5.3 million strip search settlement was an inherited problem. We worked hard to significantly reduce that deficit before seeking the supplemental appropriation and I believe the Legislature recognized that," said Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral.

Suffolk County, under its former sheriff, and the City of Boston agreed in July 2002 to settle a class action lawsuit brought by women arrested by Boston Police and strip searched at the Suffolk County Jail on Nashua Street between 1995 and 1999. The City of Boston and Suffolk County each agreed to pay $5 million to settle. While the city paid its share in 2002, the Department, under its former administration, did not.

Upon taking office in November 2002, Sheriff Cabral recognized the Department’s responsibility to pay its share and tendered a payment of $5.3 million in May 2003 from its operating budget. The payment created a budget deficit for the Department, which Sheriff Cabral was able to reduce by over $1 million by monitoring overtime and eliminating other operating expenses.

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