Anyone who believes they deserve all or part of the $1 million reward offered when ex-cop Christopher Dorner was on the loose must file an application by April 19, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Friday.
The application process — outlined in an eight-page document released today — brings formality and fine print to a reward hurriedly assembled as police tried every tool and trick they could to find Dorner. (You can read the full document below.)
The scrum over the unprecedented bounty has generated controversy — and one lawsuit — since Dorner died in a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains on Feb. 12. Two parties have come forward with claims so far: the couple Dorner allegedly tied up in their Big Bear condo before he stole their truck and a man Dorner allegedly car-jacked after crashing the couple's truck.
Their claims, along with any others made in the coming two weeks, will be reviewed by a panel of three retired judges, including former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno. Any law enforcement agency that wishes to participate in the proceedings — and presumably, provide supporting evidence for a claim — can present their case to the judges.
Along with the process, the criteria for claiming the reward has also been clarified: No government employees are eligible — which is standard procedure — and the fact that Dorner was not formally "convicted" of any of the crimes that spurred the reward does not matter.
Judges will decide whether those who offered information "that led to the identification and apprehension of Christopher Dorner" should be rewarded.
That said, not all of the entities that originally pledged money toward the reward are participating in the process. There are eight original donors: the City of Irvine, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, AEG, USC, First Watch, Los Angeles Dodgers and Wells Fargo. There are also several anonymous donors.
Any other entities that pledged reward money will make their own determinations as to eligibility criteria, including the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles and County of Riverside, which had preexisting codified reward criteria.
Some donors have withdrawn
At least two entities that originally pledged money — the City of Riverside and the Police Officers Research Association of California — later chose to withdraw their reward offers because Dorner died before he could be prosecuted.
Notably absent from the list of participants are local police unions and other public safety unions that originally pledged money.
It's unclear how much money will be available in total. On Friday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said firmly that "there will be a million-dollar reward."
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said despite the bickering that's surrounded the reward money since Dorner's death, "the intentions behind this were good."
"They remain good," Villagairosa said. “We’ve done it because we want to keep faith with the public.”