The Santa Monica City Council has approved settlements with 61 claimants, resolving additional pending claims and lawsuits against the City of Santa Monica arising out of allegations of sexual abuse between the 1980s and early 2000s by former City employee Eric Uller.
“To each of the individuals impacted by these horrific crimes, we are deeply sorry for the pain caused by one of our former employees and hope this settlement supports your journey to healing,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich.
The settlement resolves all claims and lawsuits brought by 61 individuals who allege that Uller sexually abused or attempted to sexually abuse them between the late 1980s and early 2000s when many were youth participating in the Police Activities League (“PAL”) program. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the City will pay $54.9 million into a qualified settlement fund, and the funds will be allocated to the 61 individuals as determined by a retired Superior Court Judge, whom plaintiffs’ counsel retained as a third-party neutral to perform this allocation.
Following the first allegations of sexual abuse by Eric Uller in 2018, the City created a new code of conduct for providing youth services and expanded requirements for Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training for all employees, volunteers, and contractors for any City-managed youth program. Praesidium, which formerly audited City operations related to youth programming, is expected to serve as the Child Protection Officer for the City and work to convene a Child Protection Committee.
Submitted by Constance Farrell, Santa Monica Public Information Officer.