Family of slain New Cassel mom offered settlement by Nassau County

WOODBURY - The family of the 24-year-old New Cassel woman who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend has been offered a settlement by Nassau County after claiming that police failed to protect her. Joanna Bird, a mother of two, was stabbed to death in her home two years ago. Leonardo Valdez-Cruz was convicted of the crime, but the guilty verdict didn't end the controversy. Bird's family filed a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit accusing Nassau police of not doing enough to shield the mother from her ex-boyfriend, despite her court order of protection.Nassau police began disciplinary proceedings against eight officers involved in the case, and later then-Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey admitted to News 12 Long Island that cops failed to properly investigate the family's complaints that Valdez-Cruz was stalking Bird.The terms of the settlement in the Birds' lawsuit remain unknown, as is the amount of money the county will pay the family. Fred Brewington, the Birds' attorney, says the settlement will have to be approved by the county Legislature and the fiscal watchdog agency NIFA.Jury takes up case of Joanna Bird murder

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