Stanislaus County settles deadly ambush lawsuit for $1.5 million

Stanislaus County will pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by survivors of a locksmith killed alongside a deputy sheriff in a 2012 eviction-gone-bad on Modesto’s Chrysler Drive.

The payment, made public Friday morning, is among the highest in lawsuits involving the Sheriff’s Department in Sheriff Adam Christianson’s 10-year tenure.

“Neither the County, nor the Sheriff or his deputies, were responsible in any way for the intentional acts of the shooter Jim Ferrario, who ambushed and murdered” locksmith Glendon Engert and Deputy Bob Paris, said County Counsel John Doering. “We understand the tragic loss suffered by the Engert family because we too suffered the loss of one of our own, and no amount of settlement will fully compensate for those losses.”


John Doering, Stanislaus County Counsel

The survivors and their San Francisco attorney were not immediately available for comment.

The lawsuit, filed three years ago in federal court, contended that the 35-year-old locksmith was owed better protection from Paris, 53, and his partner, since-retired Deputy Mike Glinskas, who had been warned about the gunman’s instability and military-grade weapons but did not share the alert with Engert.

Occupant Jim Ferrario, 45, had lost through foreclosure a fourplex unit where he lived many years with his father when the deputies arrived to evict Ferrario and secure the property for the new owner. Engert was trying to disable a heavy security door lock when Ferrario, using a high-powered assault rifle, fired from inside, killing Paris and Engert. A lengthy standoff ended when the home went up in flames, ignited by Ferrario, who committed suicide surrounded by a cache of weapons and ammunition.

“The incident affected all those involved and it was important to resolve the lawsuit to complete the healing process,” Doering said. “In the end, there are no winners in this tragedy.”

$1.5 millionAmount county will pay to end lawsuit

$1.2 millionMediation award to victim of 2008 crash with deputy sheriff

The settlement was produced in mediation and includes $1.38 million in cash to be shared by Engert’s widow, Irina, and parents, Ronnie and Anne, plus a $115,637 annuity providing $500 monthly payments to the parents beginning Feb. 1 and continuing for 25 years.

The new property owner previously settled out of court for $230,000.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill agreed last year that Engert might not have died if the officers had done things differently; for example, the deputies should not have told Engert to resume drilling the lock after he paused and told them he thought he heard something inside the home, the judge said.

The county admits no wrongdoing in the settlement, which the county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved behind closed doors “to settle and dispose of any and all claims to avoid further expense, inconvenience, distraction, uncertainty and burden of protracted litigation,” the document reads.

Amazing that they always will not admit wrongdoing when they pay out millions of dollars. The payout itself is an admission.

This took 4 years and Mrs. Engbert was shamefully disparaged by our local leaders.

Solution for making The whiners about the Oscars controversy “go away”


As the outcry over this year’s Oscar nominations continues, Hollywood heavyweights like producer and actress Whoopi Goldberg are echoing the feeling that the lack of diversity on one of Hollywood’s biggest night reflects a problem in the entertainment industry as a whole, reports Kevin Frazier of “Entertainment Tonight.”

An Oscar winner herself, Goldberg said production companies should lead the charge.

“There has not been a plethora of black movies because people believe we don’t want to see movies with black people in them,” Goldberg said. “This happens every year. Until there are more movies made with people of color. You get the people with the productions companies to hire. You make a stink all year – not just once a year, but all year!”

But film mogul, actor and producer Tyler Perry said transparency is the answer.

“If the Academy – I think all this would go away if they revealed the votes,” Perry said. “If you look at a movie like ‘Straight Outta Compton’ right and just say it got 1,000 votes and ‘The Revenant’ got 1, 001 votes, is that racism or is it just this is the way the votes went?”

Actors George Clooney and David Oyelowo also also voiced their frustration. Clooney accused the entire industry of moving in “the wrong direction.”

“I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films?” Clooney said in a statement to Variety.”We need to get better at this.”

“For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color, actresses of color, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable,” Oyelowo said at a gala honoring Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs Monday.

“When you’re dealing with a movie that costs 100 million dollars or more, you don’t want to take risks,” said Tim Gray, awards editor at Variety. “It’s more based on what worked last year and what worked five years ago, ‘let’s do it again this year.’ And so you’re seeing that lack of imagination, which also means lack of diversity.”

Others including actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee are boycotting next month’s awards to show their frustration.

“These protests have been going on for decades. What I’m hoping is now there is going to be more accountability,” Gray said.

Lupita Nyong’o — who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2013 for her role in “12 Years a Slave” — also expressed disappointment in the Academy on Instagram:

Despite speaking out on the issue, George Clooney did not prominently feature a person of color in the last four movies he directed.

Dawgs solution: Quit whining about everything and SHUT THE FUCK UP! Don’t like the way things are go out and change it. QUIT YOUR FUCKING WHINING!