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Not all donors have made good on their pledges; recipients say city of L.A. isn’t making good on pledge to make up the difference.

BY BRIAN ROKOS / STAFF WRITER
Published: July 15, 2014 Updated: 10:23 p.m.

The entire $1 million reward offered for the capture of fugitive homicide suspect Christopher Dorner will not be paid out because some donors canceled their pledges when the terms – arrest and conviction – were not met, the Los Angeles mayor’s office said.

That was disappointing news to the recipients – all Inland residents at the time the reward was posted in February 2013 – who said the city had promised to make up the difference and pay the full $1 million. Instead, about $886,000 was paid out, according to the city.

Vicki Curry, spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, said Garcetti pressed those donors this year for their money.

Among them, the city of Riverside had offered $100,000, the Peace Officers Research Association of California had committed $50,000 and the Los Angeles Police Protective League had put up an undisclosed amount. But that money was pledged under the condition that Dorner be arrested and convicted. Instead, Dorner killed himself inside a burning cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains that was surrounded by police.

“Many of the donors determined that the situation, as it played out, did not warrant reward money. The City of Los Angeles honored its commitment and contributed its portion, and at least $886,000 in total was paid as reward money,” Curry wrote in an email. She would not identify all the donors, saying some wished to remain anonymous.

In awarding the money, the panel of judges who reviewed applications said the arrest and conviction criteria were impossible to achieve because Dorner killed himself in a final standoff with law enforcement.

Jim and Karen Reynolds, who were tied up in their Big Bear condo resort but wriggled free enough to call 911 and report that Dorner stole their car, were due to receive 80 percent of the reward.

Ski resort employee Daniel McGowan, who alerted authorities to Dorner’s burning car on a forest road in the San Bernardino Mountains, was awarded 15 percent. And Norco repossession business owner Lee McDaniel, who reported Dorner’s appearance in Corona, was awarded 5 percent.

McDaniel died in June from cancer after using the $26,000 he received to pay his medical bills. His widow, Cindy, said someone with the city of Los Angeles told her husband that the city would make sure the full $1 million was paid out.

In a 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Curry reiterated a contention that Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck made when the reward was announced, that additional donors had pushed the amount pledged to more than $1 million and that extra money would cover for money promised but never paid.

“There will be a $1 million reward,” Curry told The Times. But she didn’t know at the time whether $1 million would be paid if more donors backed out and the total dropped below $1 million.

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