The brave and responsible citizens who assisted in the capture of renegade homicide suspect Christopher Dorner will not be receiving the full reward money that they deserve and has been promised to them.
The Orange County Register reported that because Dorner avoided arrest and conviction by killing himself, some donors canceled their pledges, arguing that his suicide voided their obligation to pay out. Although a great portion of the reward was paid out, the remaining amount will not be paid, according to Vicki Curry, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“Many of the donors determined that the situation, as it played out, did not warrant reward money. The City of Los Angeles honored its commitment and contributed its portion, and at least $886,000 in total was paid as reward money,” Curry explained in an email. The Register said Curry would not identify all the donors, claiming that some wished to remain anonymous.
The 33-year-old Dorner, who was holed up in a cabin near Big Bear after a shootout with law enforcement that left a sheriff’s deputy dead and another wounded, eventually died from a self-inflicted shot to his head. His whereabouts during the episode were signaled by Jim and Karen Reynolds, who were tied up by Dorner in their Big Bear condo but escaped to call 911 and report that Dorner drove off with their car. They received 80 percent of the reward.
Daniel McGowan, who alerted police about a burning car on a road in the San Bernardino Mountains, was awarded 15 percent, while a Norco business owner, who told authorities he had seen Dorner in Corona, was rewarded five percent.
In a 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Curry promised that even if some donors do back away from their commitments to contribute to the reward, the $1-million total will not be lowered. “It seems like city politics as usual; you make promises you don’t keep,” Cindy McDaniel lamented on Tuesday. “It’s one of those ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.'”
The Reynoldses have sought legal help, and their attorney is pointing the finger at the city of Riverside for breaking their pledge. Attorney Kirk Hallam asserted that his clients are “very disillusioned.” He added:
There is absolutely no question that those who reneged on their commitment to make their contributions to the reward were looking for an out from the instant that Christopher Dorner was apprehended and died. The irony was that the city of Riverside actually approved their reward (at a City Council meeting) after Christopher Dorner was dead.
Hallam sent letters to Riverside City Council members and to the city attorney, and so far no one has responded.