Jul 1, 2010 1:57 PM by Melissa Canone
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers approved a $20
million settlement Thursday with the family of Jaycee Dugard, who
was kidnapped as a girl and held captive in a secret backyard for
18 years by a paroled sex offender.
Dugard, 30, resurfaced last August with two daughters she bore
with Phillip Garrido, a convicted rapist.
Dugard, her mother and daughters filed claims in February saying
state officials with the Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation failed to do their jobs. Parole agents began
supervising Garrido in 1999 but failed to discover Dugard.
The Dugard family members claimed psychological, physical and
"I can't emphasize enough that we've got to be much more
prudent in terms of how we provide oversight for released prisoners
in the state of California," Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Granite
Attorneys for the Dugards did not immediately respond to calls
Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to charges
that they kidnapped and raped the young woman.
Dugard and her children were hidden at the Garrido home in the
eastern San Francisco Bay area city of Antioch, authorities said.
"Jaycee and her children, now 13 and 16, are now living in
seclusion and will need many years of therapy, education and health
care," said Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar.
Lawmakers approved the settlement with a 30-1 vote in the Senate
and a 62-0 vote in the Assembly.
The money for the Dugards will come from the state's hard-hit
general fund, which pays for most state operations. It comes while
the state faces a $19 billion deficit as it enters the new fiscal
year without a budget.
The settlement made up the bulk of the money approved in AB1714,
which settles three other claims for a combined $1.49 million.
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Yuba City, said it was wise for the
state to pay the claim quickly rather than fight a court battle
that he said "exacerbates the grievous loss of the victims and the
lifelong condemnation and pain of their families."
He predicted the state alsa will pay claims as well in the case
of John Albert Gardner III, who pleaded guilty to killing two San
Diego County teenagers. Parole agents were also faulted in that
case for failing to send Gardner, a convicted sex offender, back to