Nassau lawmakers expected to settle Andrea Rebello suits for $4.5M
The family of a Hofstra University student killed in an off-campus 2013 police shooting has reached a tentative $4.5 million settlement with Nassau County over a pair of lawsuits, county officials said Saturday.
The settlement is expected to be unanimously approved by lawmakers at Monday’s full meeting of the Nassau legislature, the officials said.
The county attorney’s office briefed lawmakers on the agreement during a private executive session earlier this month.
“We will most likely vote for it based on what’s been presented,” said Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, a spokeswoman for the legislature’s Democratic minority.
A spokesman for the Republican majority declined to comment on the proposed settlement.
Andrea Rebello, 21, of Tarrytown, was accidentally shot and killed in May 2013 by Nassau police Officer Nikolas Budimlic as armed parolee Dalton Smith, 30, of Hempstead, used her as a human shield during a home invasion robbery. Budimlic, who remains on the force, also shot and killed Smith.
The victim’s twin sister, Jessica Rebello, also had been inside the house and made it out alive.
In 2014, a Nassau district attorney’s office review concluded Budimlic would not face criminal charges and that he had “reasonably perceived threats of deadly force against himself and others and acted accordingly.”
Prosecutors found in their 11-month probe that Smith had ignored orders to drop his gun and threatened to kill Budimlic and Rebello, while alternately pointing his gun at each of them in the Uniondale rental home.
The settlement, confirmed by legislative aides and attorneys, resolves both a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the county and its police force in 2014 and a federal civil rights suit filed last year against Nassau and the police department. The 2014 suit had been scheduled to go to trial next month in Mineola.
The Rebello family has argued that police personnel, including 911 operators, were not properly trained for hostage situations. The federal suit contends police never attempted to engage Smith in hostage negotiations, except by yelling at him to drop his weapon.
The family has also alleged that records police created in the case were designed to be sparse, and that authorities moved around evidence at the home as part of a cover-up to protect against civil claims.
“The parties have resolved this matter to their satisfaction,” Rebello family attorney David Roth said in a statement Saturday.
The Rebello family and a spokesman for County Attorney Carnell Foskey did not respond to requests for comment.
With Bridget Murphy