The city of Santa Monica has taken a bold step in addressing the dark legacy of Eric Uller, approving a staggering $122.5 million settlement to address the numerous sex abuse claims made against the late city employee. This massive payout is a testament to the city’s commitment to providing justice and closure for the survivors.
Uller, a former city employee and volunteer for the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL), faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse, involving minors participating in the city-sponsored youth program. His reign of terror was exposed in 2018 when several survivors stepped forward, revealing the horrifying extent of his actions that spanned over two decades.
Tragically, Uller died by suicide in 2019, evading a trial that would have brought his heinous acts to light. But the fight for justice did not end with his death. The survivors, along with the city of Santa Monica, persisted in their pursuit of accountability and restitution.
The monumental $122.5 million settlement, approved by the Santa Monica City Council, signifies a critical juncture in the healing process for the survivors and the community at large. While no amount of money can erase the pain and trauma inflicted by Uller’s actions, the settlement is a significant step towards acknowledging the suffering of the survivors and helping them rebuild their lives.
The city is also taking decisive action to prevent such atrocities from happening in the future, implementing comprehensive policies and procedures to safeguard the well-being of children in city-sponsored programs. These measures include rigorous background checks, enhanced training for staff and volunteers, and the establishment of robust reporting mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of vulnerable youths.
As the city of Santa Monica turns a new page in its history, it remains committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for its residents, with the hope that lessons learned from this dark chapter will serve as a guiding light for a brighter future.