AG Peter Nickles had promised to settle the Pershing Park cases by Thanksgiving. If he wants to make good on that promise, he might start with picking up the phone, and meeting with the plaintiffs lawyers. According to one lawyer, Jonathan Turley, the attorney general has yet to even call him.
While Nickles may not be such a goodwill ambassador, he did promise the courts that plaintiffs would see a nice payday soon. In late September, Nickles told U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan that he would personally direct settlement talks. He boasted of making huge breakthroughs in the negotiations, and stated that he expects the cases to be wrapped before the Macy’s Parade. Yesterday, Nickles announced a settlement in an unrelated protester case, and again expressed hope that the Pershing Park cases would be resolved within weeks.
Turley, who represents plaintiffs in one of those cases (the Chang case), says Nickles has actually shutdown talks. “Despite the statement by AG Nickles that he was going to settle these cases,” Turley explains, “he canceled all settlement negotiations with the Chang plaintiffs soon after leaving Judge Sullivan.”
Turley says: “We have yet to even meet with him. In the meantime, the city is spending copious amounts of money fighting a case where the merits have already been established.”