With less than a week remaining before the primary election, a potential political time bomb for a Kane County Board member appears to have been diffused.
A lawsuit against John and Cathy Hurlbut seeking damages for an alleged assault committed by their son in late 2009 was settled and dismissed Tuesday, a day before both sides were due in court for a routine hearing.
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"The matter has been resolved," said Cathy Hurlbut, a longtime county board member who is seeking the Republican nomination for Kane County Circuit Court Clerk. Her husband is running for judge.
Asked if the settlement prohibits any of the parties from commenting, she said: "That will be the only comment I believe anybody will make. The matter has been resolved."
The suit was filed against the Hurlbuts last November, when candidates were lining up to file petitions to run in next week's primary.
According to court records, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled in the future. The court order in which Judge Timothy McCann dismissed the case said the lawsuit has been "fully compromised and settled" by both sides, records show. No terms were specified.
The lawsuit, filed by Elgin residents Teresa and Steven Stultz, sought damages from the Hurlbuts stemming from an incident that occurred at the Hurlbuts' home Dec. 9, 2009.
The Stultzes' lawsuit accused the Hurlbuts' son of sexually assaulting the Stultzes' teenage daughter in the basement of the boy's home, sought more than $50,000 damages for counseling and claimed the Hurlbuts were home, heard the girl's cries of "No!" and did nothing to stop it.
The suit was filed on behalf of the Stultzes by Jeffrey Meyer, who is seeking the GOP nod for the 17th District of the Kane County Board.
At the time, Meyer said the lawsuit's timing had "absolutely nothing to do with politics."
Wednesday, Meyer reiterated that statement, but declined to elaborate on the terms of the settlement, including what, if any, monetary compensation his clients received.
"All I can really say is the lawsuit has been settled. This is obviously a difficult time for my client" and they are pleased the case has been resolved, Meyer said.
When the suit was filed, an angry Cathy Hurlbut called the move "political extortion," described politics as a "blood sport" and vowed to fight all the allegations instead of settling the suit.
Patrick Kinnally, attorney for Hurlbuts, did not return a phone message Wednesday, nor did attorney Thomas Scherschel, a lawyer representing the Hurlbuts' son.
The Daily Herald is not naming the Hurlbuts' son because no adult criminal charges were filed against him, nor is the paper naming the Stultzes' daughter. Both were 16 at the time.
The Elgin Police Department has denied a Freedom of Information Act request seeking police records stemming from the incident, saying both were juveniles then. Juvenile criminal records are sealed and confidential.