Schaumburg settles sixth lawsuit against former cops
Schaumburg officials have approved a sixth settlement among the 16 lawsuits filed against the village and former police officers arrested on multiple drug conspiracy charges in January 2013.
The latest settlement pays plaintiff Nicholas Kastner $17,500 without admitting any wrongdoing on the part of the village or any past or present employees.
All the lawsuits being handled by Schaumburg's attorney Jim Sotos 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.
Hudak and O'Brien have pleaded guilty to felony charges and are serving prison sentences, while Cichy is awaiting trial in April.
Two of the 16 lawsuits have been dismissed, and Sotos has filed motions to dismiss two of the eight that remain.
"We feel that we're moving through them pretty well," Sotos said.
The two most recent suits were filed in just the past couple months.
While Sotos is still evaluating the most recent suits, he said that the village could have successfully defended all the previous ones. But the cost of full litigation would have exceeded the amounts agreed to in each settlement, he said.
In looking at each lawsuit, Sotos said he had to assume that nothing Cichy, Hudak or O'Brien might say in court would be believed, even if it were true.
Instead, he looked for -- and said he found -- independent verification in every case he's reviewed so far that there were valid reasons each plaintiff was either arrested or searched by the officers.
The $17,500 being paid to Kastner is not quite the highest amount of the settlements reached so far. That distinction belongs to the $18,000 paid to plaintiff Christapher Nelson last month.