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FERGUSON • In a one-paragraph news release on Friday, Ferguson announced it had hired Dan K. Webb as special counsel to negotiate with the U.S Department of Justice.

Jeff Small, a city spokesman, said the city was not yet revealing how much it is paying Webb or any other details about the process by which he was hired.

Last month, the Justice Department issued a 102-page report that accused the city of a pattern of abuses by its police department and municipal court. That report also included proposed reforms. 

In the news release, the city said it was in the initial stages of negotiating an agreement over those proposals. 

Webb, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois who is now with the firm Winston & Strawn, has worked on several high-profile cases including the prosecution of former national security adviser John M. Poindexter for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

He also helped supervise Operation Greylord, an FBI investigation into the Cook County, Ill., court system in the 1980s. That investigation resulted in the indictments of 17 judges, 48 lawyers, eight policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, eight court officials and one state legislator, nearly all of whom were convicted. 

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Stephen Deere is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.