Modesto may have an agreement on how much it will pay the lawyers representing a family that successfully sued the city, claiming police officers entered their home without permission or a warrant.
The city already has agreed to pay Patricia Mugrauer $745,651.01 and her adult son, Wade Mugrauger, $60,000.01 to resolve their April 2016 federal civil rights lawsuit.
Officers entered Patricia Mugrauer’s east Modesto home in January 2015 to help a young women who had been renting a room with her boyfriend from Mugrauer retrieve her possessions after the couple split up. Mugrauer wanted to wait until the boyfriend was home so there would be no misunderstandings. But officers entered the home, and one of them pushed Mugrauer out of the way. She fell and broke her hip.
Mugrauger, 69, died in January, a week after resolving her part of the lawsuit. Sanjay Schmidt — one of the Mugrauers’ attorneys — has said her payment will go to her estate. Modesto resolved Wade Mugrauer’s part of the lawsuit last month.
Modesto is responsible for the Mugrauers’ legal costs. Schmidt and attorney Panos Lagos filed court documents last week stating they had reached an agreement over those costs with the city. The documents do not say how much the city would pay. The City Council is expected to meet in closed session Tuesday to discuss the Mugrauer lawsuit.
Schmidt did not respond to requests for comment Monday. City Attorney Adam Lindgren said the amount was not available Monday, but he expected the city to release it as well as what Modesto has paid lawyers to defend the city in this lawsuit in the coming days.
The council also is expected Tuesday:
▪ Consider amending a land use policy to allow gas station-convenience stores in part of the Kiernan Business Park Specific Plan in northwest Modesto. The amendment is related to Jivtesh Gill’s plan to build a gas-station-convenience store and other buildings on nearly 4 acres at the northeast corner of Dale Road and Bangs Avenue. The plan has drawn opposition from homeowners in the nearby Fleur De Ville gated community. The matter also has taken considerable time, with the Planning Commission considering it several times before sending it to the council.
▪ Increase Deputy City Manager Joe Lopez’s salary from $175,946 to $198,000 while he serves as acting city manager. City Manager Jim Holgersson left Modesto on March 31 after nearly three years with the city. The official word was that Holgersson and Mayor Ted Brandvold had different visions for the city. Brandvold has said Modesto will conduct a national recruitment for its next city manager.
▪ Consider hiring a consultant at a cost of as much as $6 million to prepare the plans, specifications and estimates for phase one of the new Highway 132 from Highway 99 to Dakota Avenue. The two-lane highway’s new alignment would be south of Kansas Avenue. Staff is recommending the council hire Dokken Engineering of Folsom to prepare the plans, specifications and estimates. The city estimates phase one’s total cost at $10 million, with $4 million coming from the city’s street capital facilities fees and $6 million from Measure L, the recently approved transportation tax.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316