San Bernardino Mountains, April 20, 2013 – An attorney for Rick Heltebrake has announced he will seek the entire one million dollar reward offered by the City of Los Angeles in the Christopher Dorner case. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offered the reward in February for information leading to the apprehension and capture of Dorner, who was the subject of a widespread manhunt after killing and wounding several people.
On February 12, Dorner carjacked Heltebrake on a road off Highway 38 near Barton Flats. Heltebrake then reported the incident to a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy and others later trapped Dorner in a cabin where the suspect ultimately died.
Heltebrake’s attorney, Allen Thomas, claims the City of Los Angeles is ignoring both California law and City ordinances by unilaterally selecting its own judge and jury to decide who qualifies for the reward. Specifically, Thomas says the City’s procedure would not allow his client to present evidence directly to the tribunal and question witnesses but would allow the Los Angeles Police Department unfettered access to the tribunal. The proceedings could be conducted in secret beyond public scrutiny. The lawsuit will allege the City breached a valid reward contract and violated Heltebrake’s civil rights by attempting to force an unfair proceeding on him that impairs a valid contract without just compensation.
The Media Relations department for the City of Los Angeles has refused to comment on the lawsuit.