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Secret settlement: Micklovich's $200,000

Confidence in the Manchester Police Department fell dramatically after four of its officers were involved in a brutal beating that left Christopher Micklovich with dozens of facial fractures after an encounter at the Strange Brew Tavern in 2010. It is understandable that city officials would want to settle Micklovich's lawsuit quietly. Understandable, but not acceptable.

Last May, the city paid Micklovich $200,000 in a settlement. (Frankly, that does not seem like enough to compensate for what that young man suffered.) The settlement, though, was kept hush-hush. This newspaper learned about it and reported it yesterday - during Sunshine Week. How perfect.

Sunshine Week is a time to honor, recognize and promote open government. Alderman Bill Shea, chairman of the Aldermanic Committee on Human Resources and Insurance, which approved the settlement, said it was not up to his committee to make that information public. Ah, the old it's-not-my-job excuse.

The public has a right to know how its municipal employees behave and how its tax money is spent. Keeping that information secret only hurts the city by undermining its credibility and the public trust. That so few public officials get that is a constant disappointment.

Eric Church
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