Judge Questions City's Homeless Settlement

June 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The settlement amount was agreed to by both the City of Fresno and attorneys representing the homeless. Hour's later Autry issued the controversial statement slamming the court.In a five page court document issued by Judge Wanger, the judge says Autry's statements have wrongfully suggested that the court has ordered a settlement and the court has exploited the homeless.

Friday Autry issued a statement saying quote "The City of Fresno will comply with the court order and look forward to continue our 10 year plan to end chronic homelessness. However, this white collar exploitation of the homeless by the court and the lawyers is unconscionable. I am calling upon the ACLU and Judge Wanger to require half of the exorbitant lawyer fees of 750 thousand dollars to be donated to homeless programs." end quote.

ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says the mayor's comments jeopardize the settlement.

Tony Capozzi: "He in effect accused the courts of violating the law: white collar exploitation. There's no exploitation here. It was a decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, and I think that needs to be respected."

Now if the mayor stands by his words in court Tuesday, the judge could order a trial to take place starting next week. It is very unusual for a judge to issue a show cause order like this, including a request to see the defendant in person.

U.S. Marshalls served Autry and his attorneys Monday morning. Monday afternoon Autry told Action News he has no comment on the judge's order. He's expected in court at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Click here to read complete court filing
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