Lawyer: Nassau delaying settlement for Joanna Bird's family

NEW CASSEL - The relatives of a New Cassel woman who was killed by her ex-boyfriend say Nassau County has yet to pay them the sum that was agreed upon in a lawsuit settlement.

Attorney Fred Brewington, who represents the family of Joanna Bird, reached a settlement with the county back in July. Sources say the settlement is for $7 million.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, two years ago, Bird, a 24-year-old mother of two, was murdered by Leonardo Valdez-Cruz. Her family sued police, claiming that they failed to enforce an order of protection against Valdez-Cruz. Thirteen members of the department were eventually disciplined for misconduct.

Today, Brewington had a conference call with a judge and Nassau County attorneys.

They say the paperwork for the settlement has been submitted to the Legislature, which must approve the payment.

A spokesperson for Peter Schmitt, the presiding officer of the Legislature, wouldn't give a timeline, but says the item is going through normal channels and nothing is holding it up.

Brewington says if this money isn't approved soon, he may vacate the settlement and take the case to court. Jury takes up case of Joanna Bird murder

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