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Records: City lawyers weak link in police accountability

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CHICAGO (AP) _ An Associated Press review of hundreds of court records nationwide shows that the attorneys who represent cities are often weak links in the systems meant to help hold police accountable for wrongdoing.

The AP review looked at municipal attorneys in Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Denver and Spokane, Washington. It found that lawyers deliberately hid important facts, delayed their disclosure or otherwise sought to subvert evidence in civil cases.

Municipal lawyers often represent city employees in noncriminal matters and rarely attract public attention because they operate far behind elected leaders.

But Chicago attorney Jared Kosoglad contends City Hall lawyers have a “widespread practice of destroying and lying about unfavorable evidence.”

The head of Chicago’s law department says private lawyers are too quick to ascribe sinister motives to honest mistakes.