The Justice Department has agreed to pay Dr. Steven Hatfill and his lawyers more than $5.8 million to settle a suit over the disclosure of information during the investigation in the fatal anthrax mailings in 2001.
This afternoon, Brian Roehrkasse, the department's director of public affairs, said: "By entering into this agreement, the United States does not admit to any violation of the Privacy Act and continues to deny all liability in connection with Dr. Hatfill’s claims."
In addition to more than $2.8 million in cash for Hatfill and his lawyer Mark Grannis, name partner at Harris, Wiltshire a& Grannis, the department has agreed to buy Hatfill an annual annuity of $150,000 for 20 years.
FBI searches of Hatfill's home were widely publicized in 2001 and he later was named a "person of interest," but he was never charged in the unsolved attacks, which killed five people and injured 17 others.
Hatfill filed his suit against then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2003, alleging the Justice Department and the FBI had violated his presumption of innocence and damaged his reputation. He later filed a libel suit against The New York Times and a defamation suit against other media.
Last year, in the suit against the government, Hatfill attempted to have journalists testify about sources they used in their stories about him.