Attorneys representing John Pike and the University of California will try to reach a deal over the former UC Davis police lieutenant’s worker’s compensation claim, out of court and away from the media spotlight.
The sides had been scheduled to take part in a mandatory settlement conference on Aug. 13 in Sacramento to discuss Pike’s claim of psychiatric injury.
That hearing has been scratched from the calendar, according to State Department of Industrial Relations spokesman Peter Melton. The case will not go before a judge unless the sides fail to reach an agreement.
Pike, a former U.S. Marine with 17 years of law enforcement experience, gained worldwide notoriety after he pepper-sprayed seated, unarmed Occupy UC Davis protesters who blocked police on a Quad sidewalk on Nov. 18, 2011. Hackers posted his personal information online, and Pike received threatening calls and emails.
Attorneys for Pike have not returned calls for comment. UC has refused to discuss the specific officers who took part that day, citing state law and university confidentiality rules.
After The Enterprise first reported Pike’s injury claim on its website July 25, the pepper-spraying regained regional and national attention. That may have pushed the sides back to the table.
Protesters with ties to Occupy UCD had planned to hold a tongue-in-cheek “support” rally for Pike outside the scheduled hearing, mocking an injury claim that would see the former cop “rewarded” for his actions, in the words of Davis attorney Bernie Goldsmith.
Pike ceased to be a university employee in July 2012. He was fired, according to a Sacramento Bee account, despite a confidential internal affairs investigation finding his actions “reasonable” and recommending discipline, not termination.
He remains entitled to retirement credit for his years of service, but he was to receive no other payout. He collected eight months of his $121,680 annual salary while being investigated by a separate task force that found both the police and UCD administration at fault.
Protesters pepper-sprayed or arrested that day split a $1 million settlement. Criminal charges were not filed against police or protesters.
— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden