Police settlement with Calvin Darling approved

A $120,000 settlement between the Metropolitan Police Department and the man originally accused of drunken driving in a fatal police crash was approved Monday by the agency's Fiscal Affairs Committee.

The payment will settle Calvin Darling's claims against the Police Department stemming from the May 7, 2009, crash on Flamingo Road near Tenaya Way that killed officer James Manor.

"He's excited to have closure on this, although no amount of money can compensate him for what he's been through," said Darling's lawyer, Sean Sullivan.

After the crash, Darling was charged with drunken driving causing death and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle after failing a field sobriety test and telling police he had had a few beers.

At a news conference, Sheriff Doug Gillespie declared that Manor was responding to a domestic violence call with his patrol car's lights and sirens activated.

Investigators later determined that Manor's patrol car was going more than 100 mph on Flamingo with no lights or sirens when Darling's pickup turned left into its path.

All charges against Darling were dropped.

Gillespie said Monday that he considered calling Darling to apologize but didn't because that could be construed as pressuring him or interfering with the legal process.

"I think I've made it very clear for Mr. Darling that I don't consider him to be the person who caused the accident," the sheriff said.

He said he supported the settlement because of the potential costs and ultimate liability the department could face if the "very emotional case" went to trial.

Darling continues to work as an engineer at the Bellagio and has no lingering medical problems related to the crash, his lawyer said.

"The event still haunts him, but he's getting better every day," Sullivan said.