Danville ranks at the top of liability costs among the other two cities that contract with the county sheriff's office for police services, following two costly and high-profile cases brought after former Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy Andrew Hall's shooting deaths of two men in the town.
The total of $9,527,081 in costs for Danville in the 2021-22 fiscal year brought its 10-year total for liability costs to $10,667,351, according to data reviewed by the Board of Supervisors in a report presented at its June 21 meeting.
The more than $9 million in liability costs in Danville in the current fiscal year also accounted for a majority of the $11,091,899 in costs for all three incorporations that contract for police services with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office over the past decade.
Lafayette and Orinda, the other two cities, had costs amounting to $410,629 and $13,919 respectively over the past 10 years.
One term of the contracts between the three incorporations and CCCSO is that the county takes responsibility for costs of legal defense and damages for incidents involving CCCSO employees on duty in those locations.
In the current fiscal year, the county settled lawsuits from the families of Laudemer Arboleda and Tyrell Wilson, who were shot and killed by Hall while he was on duty in Danville in 2018 and 2021, respectively.
Arboleda's family agreed to a $4.9 million settlement last November, and Wilson's to $4.5 million in March. Hall is now serving a six-year prison sentence after being found guilty of a felony assault charge brought by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office for Arboleda's death. The now-former deputy was acquitted of manslaughter.
The DA's office investigation into Wilson's death is ongoing.
With a majority of the settlements and legal fees reimbursed by the county's insurers, the expenses paid out directly by Contra Costa County came out to $708,376 for Arboleda's death and $917,113 for Wilson's.
As of the most recent analysis from May 2021, Danville, Lafayette and Orinda pay $215.83 monthly in liability coverage for each sworn officer.
"The resulting liability losses from the recent shooting deaths will be included in a future analysis for purposes of determining liability charges for contract cities for the next charging cycle," a staff report from County Counsel Mary Ann Mason said.
Prior to the current fiscal year, the highest liability costs were in Danville for the 2016-17 fiscal year, at $1,080,448, with the second being Lafayette's $283,245 that same year.
Otherwise, according to Mason's report, the liability costs paid by the county over the past decade for litigation against CCCSO employees in the three cities was relatively low, ranging from $171 to $18,472 per city each year. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, Lafayette was the only city with any liability costs, which came out to $76,187.