Riverside Backs Out of $100,000 Dorner Reward on a Technicality

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Christopher Dorner


Almost as quickly as donors lined up to put out a bounty on accused cop-killer Christopher Dorner, they have begun to reconsider their offers of reward.

More than 35 donors pledged $1.2 million to the cause, but Riverside this week revoked its $100,000 reward because the terms of its offer had not been met. Riverside had offered to pay anyone with information that led to the arrest and conviction of Dorner, who killed himself February 12 in a Big Bear cabin while surrounded by police.

Riverside contends that Dorner had neither been arrested nor convicted, so no payout was due. “We were bound by government code to obey the language of our resolution and not give a gift of public funds,” Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey said in defending his city’s action.

Two claims for the reward have already been submitted. One was by a couple who Dorner tied up before taking their car, and the other by a man whose truck Dorner commandeered.

Dorner, a former LAPD officer who was fired in 2008, allegedly went on a 10-day rampage, killing four people, including two police officers. Three other police officers were wounded. Dorner published a manifesto online that argued his firing had been unjust and detailed how he would go about seeking his revenge.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), a lobbying group, reportedly may back out of its reward pledge, too. A spokesman for the group said they are polling their members, and that he had spoken with other groups who indicated they will withdraw.

Although each of the donors specified their own terms of participation, many apparently used the same language as Riverside.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the University of Southern California, the L.A. City Council, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, the U.S. Marshals Service and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) all reportedly pledged money. 

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:   

Following Riverside, More Dorner Reward Donors Consider Withdrawing Pledges (by Ben Bergman, KPCC)

Some Calif. Donors Yank Reward in Dorner Cop-Killer Case (by Doug Stanglin, USA Today)

Mayor Defends City’s Stance on Dorner Reward (by Alicia Robinson, Riverside Press-Enterprise)

Christopher Dorner Row Rumbles on after Riverside Refuses to Pay Reward (by Rory Carroll, The Guardian)

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