Burr Ridge mayor sues trustee with defamation and libel claims
Former DuPage County Board member and recently reelected Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso has filed a defamation and libel lawsuit against sitting Burr Ridge Trustee Zachary Mottl.
Grasso filed the 24-page suit Tuesday afternoon alleging Mottl, his opponent in the village's April 2 mayoral race, designed, published and distributed three campaign flyers containing defamatory allegations and then also posted them on social media.
Grasso, an attorney, served as mayor from 2005 through 2012 and then served six years as a DuPage County Board member. He was reelected mayor in April.
The lawsuit claims Mottl alleged that Grasso took "$36,000 in improper tax breaks," "committed tax fraud," "hiked our taxes while refusing to pay his own" and voted for pay raises for himself as both mayor and county board member
The suit, however, says that as mayor, Grasso was never in a position to vote on taxes (the mayor votes only to break a tie) or on pay increases for himself.
The suit also alleges that Mottl and another man, who "actively assisted Mottl in the mayoral campaign," used social media to make claims about Grasso having an extramarital affair and fathering the woman's child. The suit says both allegations are false and made with "reckless disregard for the truth."
Grasso did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday.
Mottl, however, said Friday he had not been served with the suit and could not comment on the allegations.
"This guy won the election. I can't imagine what he'd have been like if he'd lost," he said.
The suit is scheduled to be heard on Sept. 30 in DuPage County courtroom 2008.