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updated: 9/5/2012 5:11 PM

Lawsuit against former coroner settled, but no details given

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Attorneys have settled a lawsuit filed against former Kane County Coroner Charles West that he retaliated against his former second-in-command for blowing the whistle that West allegedly allowed a staff member to take a television from the home of a dead Carpentersville man.

According to court records and attorneys in the case, the lawsuit was dismissed Wednesday with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled in the future.

Patrick Kinnally, an attorney for the county, said no one admits liability in the settlement, and plaintiff Loren Carrera, will receive a monetary payment.

Kinnally declined to say how much Carrera, who is now acting coroner since West's death on July 4, will receive but noted the settlement should be finalized in a couple of weeks.

"It's not a lot of money. I'm not at liberty to say at this point what it is," Kinnally said. "The document's not completely signed yet."

Reached by phone, Carrera declined to comment on the case and referred questions to her attorney, Nils von Keudell.

"We reached a settlement agreement. The case has been dismissed, and it's time to move forward," von Keudell said. "I can't give you any more details."

West was charged with felony misconduct in 2010 after a grand jury heard testimony that West allowed a television to be taken from the home of a dead Carpentersville man in 2007 after his next of kin could not be found. If convicted, West faced anywhere from probation to five years in prison.

The criminal case never went to trial as West, who was not seeking another four-year term in the fall, died over the summer from complications from a liver transplant.

Carrera sued West in spring 2011, arguing that he retaliated against her after she went to authorities with her concerns. The suit also named Deputy Coroners Lisa Gilbert and Eric West, who is West's son, along with Kane County and the coroner's office as defendants.

In the suit, Carrera accused West of intimidating her, slowly stripping away her responsibilities, giving preferential treatment to Eric West and Gilbert.

"I think there wasn't much substance to the (plaintiff's) claim. That's my legal opinion," Kinnally said.

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