Attorneys begin discovery in Des Plaines alderman's trespassing case

  • Dick Sayad

    Dick Sayad

 
 
Updated 4/10/2015 9:26 PM

Attorneys for Des Plaines Alderman Dick Sayad and the resident whose house he walked into said in court Friday they will be examining reports, documentation and other communications about Sayad's criminal trespassing charge before the case goes to trial next month.

The discovery phase will take place between now and Sayad's next court date May 13.

 

Sayad was arrested Feb. 27 on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing to property after walking into Dave Uhrich's home unannounced two days earlier. The city's veteran 4th Ward alderman, re-elected to a fourth term Tuesday, has said he went to the house to resolve complaints he received of an unshoveled sidewalk.

He said he mistook Uhrich's home for a house divided into apartments.

During an initial court hearing at the Skokie courthouse Friday, Judge Jeffrey Warnick agreed with a Cook County state's attorney's office request that Sayad have no contact with Uhrich.

Sayad's attorney, James Tatooles, said after court that Sayad "has no intention of contacting" Uhrich.

Uhrich, joined by his fiance Alicia Carlile, declined to comment after court Friday.

Sayad's court appearance comes just days after he defeated challenger Mark Setzer in the 4th Ward election by a 810 to 500 vote tally, according to unofficial results.

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"People in his ward support him, and most of them are upset he got arrested for this violation when he was only trying to do his job," Tatooles said. "He was trying to be a good alderman."

Tatooles characterized Sayad's approach to his aldermanic duties as an example of "old politics" -- like making sure garbage is collected and snow is shoveled.

According to the police report, Uhrich said he hadn't shoveled the sidewalk in 20 years, believing it was the city or county's responsibility, and he planned to request a court hearing regarding the citation.

Sayad's colleagues on the city council are considering paying for Sayad's legal defense, which at this point could mean reimbursing the fees of Sayad's personal attorney. A city ordinance allows for that possibility, if aldermen agree Sayad was acting within the scope of his aldermanic responsibilities at the time of his altercation with Uhrich.

The council has tabled a vot e on whether to fund Sayad's defense.

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