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EX-LAPD COP, WIFE SEEK DAMAGES CLAIMS FILED AGAINST BURBANK SEEKING MORE THAN $2 MILLION.

Byline: Alex Dobuzinskis Staff Writer

BURBANK - A retired LAPD deputy chief has filed a claim against the city of Burbank, saying he was falsely accused of misconduct in a letter written by a city official.

The claims by James McMurray, who retired in June as a deputy chief with the Los Angeles Police Department, and his wife, former Burbank administrator Deborah McMurray, are related to a $1.5 million harassment suit she won last December against the city of Burbank.

The McMurrays' July 28 claims contend that a letter written in September 2003 from Burbank Chief Assistant City Attorney Juli Scott to LAPD Chief William Bratton unfairly accused James McMurray of misconduct in connection with his wife's lawsuit.

``The claim (in Scott's letter) was that he was using ... public resources to assist his wife's lawsuit,'' said Burbank City Attorney Dennis Barlow. Barlow said the resources referred to in the letter included using unmarked police cars to transport McMurray's wife and photocopying material for documents related to the lawsuit.

LAPD Internal Affairs investigators concluded the accusations made by Scott - who defended the city against Deborah McMurray's lawsuit - were unfounded, Barlow said.

But in his claim, James McMurray, 59, who lives in Burbank, contends the investigation prompted his transfer from the head of detective operations to the West Bureau. McMurray retired rather than accept the transfer.

``The stress of the investigation caused claimant to be unable to devote the proper amount of attention to his assignment, resulting in his transfer to a less desirable position and ultimately his premature retirement from the Los Angeles Police Department,'' the claim said.

In her claim, Deborah McMurray, 57, said interviews with Internal Affairs officers caused her to become ``extremely physically and emotionally distressed.''

The McMurrays each are seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

The Burbank City Attorney's Office sought permission Tuesday from the City Council to hire the law firm of Bannan, Green, Frank & Terzian LLP to defend it against the claim, which is the precursor to a lawsuit.

Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304

alex.dobuzinskis(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 18, 2004
Words:344
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