A committee of the Minneapolis City Council denied a request from police officer Michael Griffin that he be reimbursed for $75,000 in legal fees arising from a federal indictment last year.
Griffin was indicted on nine criminal counts that accused him of assaulting four men in separate incidents years ago and lying about it. He was acquitted of most of the charges.
Jurors cleared Griffin of the six criminal counts he faced stemming from a brawl outside the Loop Bar in late 2011. But they couldn't reach a verdict on three counts connected with a 2010 incident in front of the now-defunct Envy nightclub, in which Griffin was accused of beating a man unconscious. Those counts were dismissed in May 2016.
As civil matters, however, one of the incidents was settled before trial, and in the other, Griffin was found liable for a single act of excessive force. A jury awarded punitive damages.
Griffin asked the city to reimburse his legal fees from the federal prosecution, but on a recommendation from City Attorney Susan Segal, the council's Ways and Means Committee rejected his request Monday.
In city documents, Segal argued that Griffin was not on duty or working as an off-duty police officer when the incidents occurred, and they "appear to be personal in nature." She noted the jury verdict in favor of one of the plaintiffs in the civil matter, and that Griffin was indicted by a federal grand jury and that three of the counts resulted in a mistrial.
"As far as we can ascertain, the city has never reimbursed fees or costs for a criminal defense that has resulted in an indictment, let alone proceeded through a criminal trial," she wrote.
Griffin, having been cleared of the charges, still serves as a police officer in the Fifth Precinct, which is the southwest portion of Minneapolis.