Attorney says Fairfield’s settlement of wrongful death lawsuit ‘is a clear indication of who was telling the truth’

Credit: submitted

Credit: submitted

The attorney for parents of a 23-year-old shot and killed by a city officer in 2014 says the city of Fairfield cared more about “fiscal responsibility” than hiring a “substandard police officer.”

Attorney Ed Kathman’s statement came after city settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the parents of Caleb Surface.

The federal lawsuit was dismissed on Feb. 1 after the city agreed to pay the family $500,000. The settlement was agreed to in December, according to court records.

READ MORE: Fairfield settles wrongful death lawsuit with family whose son was shot and killed by police officer in 2014

Jeffrey Surface and Laura Pavlech, Caleb Surface’s parents, filed a lawsuit on Jan. 20, 2015, in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. They filed the suit against then-Fairfield Police Officer Scott Conklin, the officer who shot and killed Surface, as well as the city, then-Police Chief Mike Dickey and other responding officers.

Federal Judge Timothy Black previously dismissed the case against all but Conklin. A trial was set to proceed ahead of the settlement, according to court records.

MORE: Wrongful death lawsuit against ex-Fairfield will go to trial

“The city’s insurer made the decision to settle the remaining claim against the former officer and no city funds were used towards the settlement,” said city spokesperson Jenny Dexter. “The city accepts that decision resolving this matter of disputed liability.”

Kathman issued a strongly worded response.

“It is sad to hear that the City of Fairfield is more concerned about their fiscal responsibility to taxpayers, than the fact that they hired and continuously employed a substandard police officer, who was recommended for termination, who shot and killed an unarmed citizen and then lied about it to his superior officers and BCI investigators,” Kathman said.

“The fact that the City of Fairfield agreed to settle this matter on the eve of trial, is a clear indication of who was telling the truth.”

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