City calls $30 million settlement offer for Confederate statue suit ‘outlandish’

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2017, file photo, a statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest sits in a park in Memphis, Tenn. The Republican-dominated House in Tennessee has voted to punish the city of Memphis for removing Confederate monuments by taking $250,000 away from the city that would have been used for planning a bicentennial celebration in 2019. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis says it won’t accept an offer to settle a lawsuit over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from a city park last year.

The demand comes from the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Forrest descendants, which are demanding possession of the statue and $30 million in damages that would also go toward relocating the statue.

City spokeswoman Ursula Madden called that demand “outlandish.”

“If this was really about history and heritage, SCV could have had the statues months ago,” she said. “They’ve made it about money. They appear to be using the good will of the people who care about the preservation of these statues to enrich themselves.”

That settlement had been under seal, but details were confirmed late Friday when the city responded to the litigation. It was unsealed by a Chancery Court judge Tuesday.

The city contends that the Forrest family isn’t party to the litigation with the Sons of Confederate Veterans and claim this is proof that the fight is really about money, not preserving history and heritage.

Last December, the city sold two former city parks containing Confederate statues to a nonprofit called Memphis Greenspace, which removed the statues.

The case will be answered in court.