Chicago aldermen back $20M payout in 'code of silence' case

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CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago City Council committee has approved a $20 million payout to the families of two men who were killed when a drunken off-duty police officer slammed into their car nine years ago.

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The finance committee’s recommendation on Monday now goes to the full council, which typically follows such recommendations.

Chicago has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits involving police officers abusing their power. But this lawsuit centers on the question of whether a detective with a history of drunken driving believed he could do so because he knew he would be protected by an alleged “code of silence” on the force.

In 2009, Joseph Frugoli smashed his SUV into a car, killing Fausto Manzera and Andrew Cazares. Frugoli was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison.