News

Danville sets 10-year record for sheriff's office liability costs

Recent settlements in fatal shootings buck past decade's trend of low payout costs

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.

Town of Danville logo.

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.

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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.

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Jeanita Lyman
Jeanita Lyman joined the Pleasanton Weekly in September 2020 and covers the Danville and San Ramon beat. She studied journalism at Skyline College and Mills College while covering the Peninsula for the San Mateo Daily Journal, after moving back to the area in 2013. Read more >>

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Danville sets 10-year record for sheriff's office liability costs

Recent settlements in fatal shootings buck past decade's trend of low payout costs

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 5:23 am

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.

Comments

Colin Decker
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 11, 2022 at 8:11 am
Colin Decker, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 8:11 am

The "shoot first, as questions later" approach by some law enforcement officers opens the door for wrongful police shooting lawsuits.

It is tragic that Danville has become the county epicenter for police-related shootings and subsequent litigations.

Perhaps the officers patrolling Danville need to exercise more restraint as the deceased victims were not posing any immediate danger to residents or the officer involved.

Danville is a relatively quiet, upper middle class community...not Tombstone.

And the police officers serving in the area need to remember that


Priscilla Doverton
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 11, 2022 at 9:37 am
Priscilla Doverton, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 9:37 am

> The "shoot first, as [sic] questions later" approach by some law enforcement officers opens the door for wrongful police shooting lawsuits.

Gun control measures and legislation should also apply to rogue cops who discharge their service weapons without any provocation or sound logic.

The two Danville police killings were not justified and resulted in two costly lawsuits (aka taxpayer dollars).

Ensuring public safety is one thing, wrongful police executions are another.


Robert Larson
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 11, 2022 at 10:49 am
Robert Larson, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 10:49 am

Very reassuring to learn that there are other Danville residents who disapprove of and condemn wrongful police shootings.

We do not need any more law enforcement officers taking matters into their own hands, especially when their lives are not being threatened in a deadly manner...which is why I voted for Diana Becton for DA.


Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 14, 2022 at 8:01 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 14, 2022 at 8:01 am

"The two Danville police killings were not justified and resulted in two costly lawsuits (aka taxpayer dollars)."

Yes, but while that is surely true, there are two people who found themselves dead because of Hall's illegal acts. To them, it's not about the money. When someone is shot and killed, there are no "do overs!" That is the real tragedy here. It will be interesting to see if now that Hall is incarcerated for the first killing, if Becton will punt on prosecuting him for he second. After all, our newly re-elected sheriff says both killings "were justified." So we know just how much he values our lives.


D
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm
D, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm

Being a police officer in today's political climate is an impossible job. No wonder there is a such a shortage of applicants applying to the various Academies. Either you act(like the officer in Danville who stopped a person who was throwing rocks at cars on the overpass and then pulled a knife on the officer), or you do nothing(life the officers in Texas at the elementary school) and either way the public crucifies you.


2BConsidered
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 15, 2022 at 10:26 am
2BConsidered, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 15, 2022 at 10:26 am

Sure. Just…blame the police.

Becton was never a prosecutor. But she is politically clever. She used the mood of the country based on slanted media saturation of one messed up cop in Minnesota, the morning after his trial result, in order to reopen a case to prosecute a local cop for a shooting that was already looked at by the Sheriff and prior DA. Oh, and coincidentally, the second shooting she knows she can’t get traction on involved a black male, because he was brandishing a knife and reportedly assaulting drivers on a freeway traveling over 60 MPH…but, by God, the insurance from Danville will pay out civilly to the family because we don’t want riots…

We all have to pay because people look everywhere else but in the mirror to blame others. There was a time when people took responsibility for their actions - even crooks after they were caught knew they had it coming. (Not anymore as they are victims and feel they are owed something)

Honestly, the media has gone so far away from reporting the truth - it is scary in our society. We cannot even report that it was 5 black male suspects from the city who attempted to carjack and rob the females at gunpoint in west Danville recently.

Suspects are indescribable now. Arrestees walk. Inmates laugh at the free Millions they made while in custody from EDD. Women are undefinable now.

There is no moral fiber anymore. I don’t want to give up on this country that I immigrated to years ago, but what I am seeing is sad.


Devon Presley
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 15, 2022 at 11:43 am
Devon Presley, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 15, 2022 at 11:43 am

The bottom.line...Officer Hall did not have to kill the guy as his life was not in immediate danger. And the same applies to Officer Hall's earlier and wrongful shooting.

If a cop is that intent on being trigger happy, just shoot the suspect in the leg and book-em.


Lewis and Lynn Glenn
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 15, 2022 at 3:47 pm
Lewis and Lynn Glenn, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 15, 2022 at 3:47 pm

Totally agree with 'D'. Officer Hall put his life on the line in confronting the 'freeway rock thrower'. This is the guy who was tossing rocks off the overpass at Sycamore Road onto oncoming cars. When Hall approached the 'suspect', the latter drew a knife. As far as I'm concerned, if a police officer is confronted with someone who draws a knife and refuses to put it down on command, that officer if fully justified in using deadly force. Sheriff Livingstone was correct in defending Officer Hall. If it weren't for the excellent job being done by the Danville PD (thanks Chief Shields!), Danville would be seeing even more of these miscreants roving our neighborhoods.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 15, 2022 at 11:01 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 15, 2022 at 11:01 pm

I concur, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn.

I wonder what some of these folks would do if someone came at them with a knife?

Police officers have a duty to engage. That is what the law allows . The general public is not duty-bound to engage.

On the other hand, Devon said the officer should have shot the suspect in the leg. Is that so?

Police are taught to aim at center mass to stop a threat, not legs.

BTW, Paul Clark, how do you know the second shooting was illegal? That case is still under investigation. Putting the cart before the horse, are we?


Blake Turner
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on Jul 16, 2022 at 11:46 am
Blake Turner, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2022 at 11:46 am

Mr. Hex apparently admires & supports all police shootings regardless of the situation.

Do we all feel safer now?


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 17, 2022 at 1:37 am
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2022 at 1:37 am

Cowardly comments from an anti-cop, and the lies that go along with it, sums up the mindset of the lunatic fringe. On the other hand, Mr. Turner would most likely be the first one on the phone should he ever need the police.


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 17, 2022 at 11:01 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2022 at 11:01 am

The taxpayer money used to settle these Danville-police related lawsuits could have been put to far better use had the officer exercised a certain degree of restraint.

In the first incident, shooting directly into a slow-moving car while it was still in the parking lot raises some questions.

Gun-crazy cops = potential and costly lawsuits.


Loren Bloch
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on Jul 17, 2022 at 12:05 pm
Loren Bloch, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2022 at 12:05 pm

If Officer Hall had acted properly, he would not have been convicted for his shootings.

Simple as that.


Leslie Baines
Registered user
another community
on Jul 17, 2022 at 3:02 pm
Leslie Baines, another community
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2022 at 3:02 pm

"Police officers have a duty to engage. That is what the law allows."

Like in Uvalde, Texas?

Officer #1: We have to go in there and subdue an active shooter.
Officer #2: (hesitating) Uh...you first.

Shooting a mentally-ill homeless person tossing some rocks off an overpass is a lot safer and far less life-threatening than pursuing and 'engaging' a mass shooter armed with an assault weapon and 350 rounds of high velocity ammunition gunning down innocent schoolchildren

So much for 'a duty to engage' (at least in Texas where guns are practically a religion).

In Danville, the police apparently opt to 'engage' regardless of the scenario.


Paige Matthews
Registered user
Alamo
on Jul 18, 2022 at 8:23 am
Paige Matthews, Alamo
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2022 at 8:23 am

The monetary resources that were paid to settle Officer Hall's wrongful shootings could have been used to finance other more productive municipal endeavors.

Officer Hall should be forced to pay the costs of litigation and settlement out of his own pocket.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 18, 2022 at 9:30 am
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2022 at 9:30 am

@ Leslie Blaines

You cite one incident where police failed to act. How about citing the numerous times police have taken down an active shooter. Let me help you:

Orlando, Florida, at the Pulse nightclub in 2016: The gunman killed 49 people and wounded at least 50 before Orlando police killed him. Police engaged.

North Hollywood February 28, 1997: Two armor-clad figures standing calmly outside a bank were spewing machine gun fire at a swarm of police officers shooting back with pistols from behind car doors and trees.

For 44 minutes, out-gunned officers engaged the bank robbers, dodging barrages of high-powered bullets, rescuing their wounded and peppering their targets with hundreds of shots that bounced off harmlessly.

Gradually their shots probed openings in their adversaries’ armor as a SWAT team arrived from afar to equalize the firepower. The North Hollywood shootout ended with the two perpetrators — Larry Eugene Phillips Jr., 26, and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, 30 — dead in the street. Eleven officers were wounded, but none killed. Police Engaged.

San Ysidro, CA: McDonald's, 1984: The rampage ended when the gunman was shot by a San Diego SWAT Team sniper perched on a nearby roof. Police engaged.

Austin, TX: The University of Texas, 1966: Local police officers stormed the Tower and fatally shot the gunman. The incident spurred the creation of SWAT teams. Police engaged.

Fort Hood, TX: Fort Hood Army Base, 2009: A US Army major and psychiatrist fatally shot 13 people and wounded more than two dozen others at Ford Hood, an army base near Killeen, Texas. A civilian police sergeant shot the gunman, paralyzing him from the waist down and ending the shooting. Police engaged.

Of course, none of this matters to an anti-cop like you, right, Leslie?









Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 18, 2022 at 11:14 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2022 at 11:14 am

@Malcom Fife...
The police generally arrive 'after the fact' to take reports or take subsequent actions after the damage has already been done.

They do not prevent crimes from occuring/re-occurring.


Casey Lee
Registered user
another community
on Jul 18, 2022 at 1:39 pm
Casey Lee, another community
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2022 at 1:39 pm

It must have felt surreal being booked into county jail when you're accustomed to transporting suspects there for the same purpose.

What comes around goes around.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 18, 2022 at 8:47 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2022 at 8:47 pm

We are talking engagement, not time lines, Hulstead. (Portion removed)


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:19 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:19 am

Police response time and pre-emptive measures (i.e. pro-active crime prevention initiatives) are just as important as after the fact 'engagement.'

Being a cop should involve more than writing traffic citations, filling out miscellaneous reports, and involvement in indiscriminant shootings.


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:20 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:20 am

Police response time and pre-emptive measures (i.e. pro-active crime prevention efforts) are just as important as after the fact 'engagement.'

Being a cop should involve more than writing traffic citations, filling out miscellaneous reports, and questionable involvement in indiscriminant shootings.


Ryan Joost
Registered user
another community
on Jul 19, 2022 at 11:42 am
Ryan Joost, another community
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 11:42 am

• Being a cop should involve more than writing traffic citations, filling out miscellaneous reports, and questionable involvement in indiscriminant shootings.

^ It should but things don't always turn out that way.

The police are essentially first responders who react to perceived or alleged crimes rather than actually preventing them.


Marie DePodesta
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on Jul 19, 2022 at 12:09 pm
Marie DePodesta, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 12:09 pm

The police only respond to traffic violations or presumed criminal activities.

They do not respond to civil matters because they are not required to do so as per current CA laws.

As a result, they tend to look the other way on alleged crimes pertaining to probate infractions including finance abuses, elder isolation and mental cruelty even though CA PC Code 368 requires them to do so.

The police simply do not care about elder abuses.





Pat Trisham
Registered user
another community
on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:27 pm
Pat Trisham, another community
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:27 pm

Whether it involves getting pulled over for a speeding ticket or reporting a residential robbery, I have found that the less contact we have with the police the better.

Nothing good ever happens.


Rochelle Marquez
Registered user
another community
on Jul 23, 2022 at 10:43 am
Rochelle Marquez, another community
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 10:43 am

The Town of Danville will most likely be on the book for further lawsuits unless police improprieties are curtailed.


Erin Walker
Registered user
Diablo
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:03 pm
Erin Walker, Diablo
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:03 pm

Most here seen to concur that the two police-related shootings in Danville were preventable and resulted in costly lawsuits (aka taxpayer money).

Settling these wrongful deaths is not a good use of municipal funds and hopefully the Danville City Council will encourage the police to use more discretion if their lives are not in immediate danger.


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 29, 2022 at 12:59 pm
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2022 at 12:59 pm

"Most here seen to concur that the two police-related shootings in Danville were preventable and resulted in costly lawsuits (aka taxpayer money)."

^ Concurring...only over-reactionary people defend and endorse Officer Hall's two wrongful shootings.

If an individual was innocent of any wrongdoing, he/she wouldn't have been arrested, convicted, and subsequently sentenced to prison.

That's the standard line cops generally tell schoolchildren on Career Day.


Bryan Baker
Registered user
Blackhawk
on Jul 29, 2022 at 2:20 pm
Bryan Baker, Blackhawk
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2022 at 2:20 pm

Officer Hall's conviction sends out a key message to other law enforcement officers in Contra Costa County.

And that is...a reckless and irresponsible discharge of one's service weapon will land you in state prison among those you have previously arrested.


Benito Amaro
Registered user
another community
on Jul 31, 2022 at 8:45 am
Benito Amaro, another community
Registered user
on Jul 31, 2022 at 8:45 am

The supporters of police improprieties are apparently willing to accept the fact that these reckless and irresponsible shootings on the part of the police will continue to cost taxpayer dollars in wrongful death lawsuits and settlements.

Danville is a wealthy white community so it probably doesn't matter to the majority of its residents.


D
Registered user
Danville
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:03 am
D, Danville
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:03 am

"Benito"-just curious, what "other community" are you from? For those of us who have lived in Danville for decades,one of the main reasons we live here is because it has repeatedly been voted one of the safest towns in CA, with a very low crime rate. How safe is your town?

In Danville, when we see a guy throwing rocks from the overpass at cars below, we promptly call the police before he kills innocent people. What do you do in your town? When the police arrive, and the rock thrower ignores police orders and instead pulls out a knife and moves toward the officer, we understand the officer must use self defense to prevent himself or innocent civilians nearby from being seriously hurt or killed. When the officer only fires one shot, and then immediately calls an ambulance for the guy, that is what a reasonable person would do.

We understand this officer was tragically involved in a prior shooting, but that does not give the rock thrower in this case a free pass to seriously hurt or kill innocent people in cars below the underpass, and a free pass to seriously hurt or kill the officer or innocent bystanders with his knife. The rocks do not do less damage to the cars below if the rock thrower is allegedly mentally ill, and the knife does not do less damage if the stabber is mentally ill. In fact, if he is truly mentally ill, he is less likely to be persuaded by the officer in logically comprehending the situation and surrendering.

Unfortunately, some times the police must use force to protect themselves and others from criminals and the mentally ill. We understand that in Danville, and support the police who risk their lives every day to protect complete strangers from harm. This cooperation between police and the community is why Danville is a safe community. Those communities, probably like yours, where you attack the police either for doing too much, or too little, in dealing with criminals and the mentally ill, create unsafe communities.


Cassie Johnson
Registered user
Danville
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:33 am
Cassie Johnson, Danville
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:33 am

@Benito...

Rest assured that not all Danville residents share D's viewpoint on 'justifiable' police shootings.

While Danville is a relatively safe community, the police should have crisis intervention specialists to deal with homeless altercations involving mental illness issues and drug abuse.

This is a sign of a civilized and progressive community. Danville hasn't gotten there yet because it is still a predominantly reactionary (aka white/conservative/Republican) town that endorses police actions whether right or wrong.

The houses may be nicer in Danville but the local mindset is similar to that of Orange County, San Diego County, and most rural California counties.


Bert Leary
Registered user
Danville
on Aug 1, 2022 at 11:31 am
Bert Leary, Danville
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 11:31 am

@Cassie Johnston

The Town of Danville has done its very best to discourage the homeless population by ensuring that they are not welcome here.


Meredith Laskey
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on Aug 1, 2022 at 1:37 pm
Meredith Laskey, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 1:37 pm

"Danville hasn't gotten there yet because it is still a predominantly reactionary (aka white/conservative/Republican) town..."

Not true...63% of Danville's more intelligent voters cast their ballots for Joe Biden in 2020.


Phyllis Lange
Registered user
another community
on Aug 4, 2022 at 9:18 am
Phyllis Lange, another community
Registered user
on Aug 4, 2022 at 9:18 am

Many communities are experiencing an increase in homelessness and the police need to be better trained and educated in how to deal with it.


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