Hastert wants hush money case tossed out of Kendall County court
A Kendall County judge listened to oral arguments Friday morning but delayed a ruling on dismissing a civil suit filed by a man who claims he was sexually abused by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and that Hastert still owes him nearly $2 million of a $3 million hush money agreement.
Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer said he would issue a written ruling by Nov. 29.
The man, known only as "Individual A," was paid $1.7 million before investigators revealed the payments, leading federal prosecutors in Chicago to charge Hastert with lying to the FBI and illegally structuring bank withdrawals.
The victim is suing to regain the remaining $1.8 million plus interest.
"Mr. Hastert still owes my client $1.8 million under the terms of the agreement, so that's why we kept pressing forward on the contract," said Kristi L. Browne, Individual A's lawyer. "He agreed to pay my client $3.5 million and he hasn't lived up to the agreement."
Hastert's attorney, John Ellis, argued the breach of contract suit should be thrown out because the "vague contract was unenforceable."
Ellis also argued to Pilmer that "Individual A" was first to breach the agreement's confidentiality clause "when he disclosed the agreement and the subject matter of that agreement" to federal investigators.
"We had a promise on one hand to pay money and a promise on the other hand to remain silent," Ellis said.
Brown argued Hastert was the one who mentioned the agreement to investigators and her client had to respond when he was interviewed by federal officials.
"It actually was Mr. Hastert who initially disclosed the contract. The FBI came to him because they were investigating the bank irregularities and he accused my client, essentially of extorting money from him, initially claiming my client's accusations were false," Brown said. "My client didn't disclose anything until the FBI and U.S. attorneys office then approached him and he was under a legal obligation at that point to answer their questions."
Hastert pleaded guilty to the structuring in October 2015 and he admitted to the sexual abuse during his sentencing hearing last April. Hastert reported to prison in June in Minnesota and is due to be released in August 2017.