Schaumburg makes biggest lawsuit settlements yet involving former cops

Schaumburg trustees have approved two more settlements among the 16 lawsuits filed against the village stemming from the actions of three former police officers indicted on multiple drug conspiracy charges in 2013.

The new out-of-court agreements pay the highest amounts among all the settlements reached so far - $32,000 to plaintiff Jovan Gilbert and $20,000 to plaintiff Kelley Altom.

Nevertheless, Schaumburg's attorney, Jim Sotos, said the amounts paid represent a fraction of what it would have cost the village to fully litigate the suits.

All 16 lawsuits generally allege some combination of false arrest, illegal search or malicious prosecution committed by some combination of former officers Matthew Hudak, Terrance O'Brien and John Cichy.

Though Sotos said he considered all the cases settled so far to be defensible by the village, the Gilbert case was distinct for being more dependent on the testimony of the indicted officers.

In every previous settlement, Sotos said he believed there was independent evidence that could justify the law enforcement actions taken against the plaintiffs without having to rely on the likely tainted credibility of Hudak, O'Brien and Cichy in court.

Hudak and O'Brien have pleaded guilty to felony charges and are serving prison sentences, while Cichy is awaiting trial.

Two of the 16 lawsuits have been dismissed, and only five remain unresolved.

Of those, Sotos has filed motions to dismiss two.

"We're trying hard to work through them as best we can," Sotos said.

In each settlement, the village clearly states that it makes no admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of the village or any of its past or present employees.

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