Alexandria Public Safety Director Charles T. Strobel and another high-ranking police official will receive $150,000 from the city's insurance carrier in out-of-court settlements of lawsuits the police officials brought against other city employes.
In exchange, Strobel and police Lt. John R. Stedman will drop their suits, which alleged that policemen Joseph Morrash and Morton Ford and former detective Charles Cox had defamed them.
The suits grew out of the bitter political controversy last winter in which Morrash, Ford and Cox accused Strobel of wrongdoing in connection with a 1984 drug investigation. They also accused him of mishandling a 1983 internal review of criminal allegations against Stedman.
Strobel will receive $85,000 and Stedman $65,000 under the settlements, according to sources familiar with the agreements. Morrash, Ford and Cox were covered by the city's public officials' liability policy with the New York-based Inapro insurance company.
"I am most satisfied with the terms," Strobel said yesterday of the settlement. "I want to put all this aside and get back to doing my job."
The Alexandria City Council agreed last Wednesday in closed session not to exercise its option under the insurance policy to veto settlements negotiated between Inapro and lawyers for Stedman and Strobel.
Mayor James P. Moran, who called Strobel and Stedman "the kinds of employes the city can be proud of," also said he was glad the suits were resolved.
Strobel's settlement is another vindication for the 47-year-old police chief, who said at the beginning of the controversy that he may have shown misjudgment, but had done nothing wrong. In Feburary, a special grand jury concluded that the policemen's accusations against Strobel were without foundation.
And last week a federal judge dismissed several civil rights complaints against Strobel in a suit brought last January by Morrash, Ford and Cox.
Strobel still must defend himself in that suit against claims by Morrash and Ford that he violated their constitutional rights because of the way he runs his department. That suit is set for trial July 30.
In addition, a federal grand jury has been hearing witnesses on allegations of misconduct in the police department. That panel is now recessed and will meet again July 30.
The city was required to pay a $10,000 deductible on its liability insurance and that money has gone to attorney Joseph Cunningham, who defended Alexandria against civil claims by Strobel and Stedman. Those claims were later dropped.
Strobel still has suits pending in Alexandria Circuit Court against Alexandria lawyer Mary Craig, the Alexandria Port Packet newspaper and several reporters.