County agrees to pay ACLU $60,000

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Something happened today that's strange, to say the least.

The staunchly conservative El Paso County Board of County Commissioners agreed to pay one of the most liberal organizations in this country a tidy sum of $60,000.

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The money will go to the American Civil Liberties Union to settle a lawsuit the ACLU filed against the El Paso County Sheriff's Office for restricting outgoing inmate mail to postcards.

The sheriff said the policy was adopted due to security concerns, as reported by J. Adrian Stanley here at the Indy last summer.

County Attorney Bill Louis says the payment won't go to any individual inmate. Rather, he says, the money, from the county's self-insurance fund, "will be authorized to disburse $60,000 to the ACLU to cover its attorney fees and costs incurred."

County spokesman Dave Rose says the agreement will be submitted to a federal judge for approval.

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