Wrongfully convicted NYC man settles suit for $10M

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NEW YORK (AP) - The city will pay a $10 million settlement to a Brooklyn man who spent 15 years in prison for killing a rabbi, a wrongful murder conviction built on fabricated testimony and hidden evidence that possibly could have cleared him, the man's lawyer said Tuesday.

The settlement with Jabbar Collins, 42, is the latest multimillion dollar payout under first-year Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose administration has worked to end longstanding litigation.

Collins said in a statement that the settlement recognized "the enormity of the harm that was done to me and my family" and accomplished the last of three goals for his 2011 lawsuit.

The others, he said, were to expose the "illegal practices" of former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and drive him from office and to obtain "personal vindication" and demonstrate his innocence.

Hynes lost to Kenneth Thompson last year after 24 years in office.

Collins' lawyer, Joel Rudin, said the city offered the settlement during a meeting Monday. It came a month after the state agreed to pay Collins $3 million on an unjust conviction claim.

Together, the two settlements tie for the largest amount received by a wrongfully convicted New York City defendant, matching a June settlement with one of five men wrongly convicted of the 1989 Central Park jogger attack, Rudin said.

"Ironically, the revelations in Jabbar Collins' groundbreaking lawsuit of pervasive misconduct in Brooklyn led to more cases being overturned, but had the effect of making settlement of his lawsuit harder," Rudin said in a statement.

Collins, a paralegal in Rudin's office since his release, sued the city, nine investigators and prosecutors after he was exonerated in 2010.

His conviction for the 1994 killing of Orthodox rabbi and landlord Abraham Pollack was overturned based on a new finding that the key witness who implicated Collins had recanted before the trial.

A federal judge called the handling of the case "shameful."

The city's Law Department said the settlement was "fair and is in New York City's best interests."

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