Carpentersville to pay $220,000 in settlement with former village manager

  • Mark Rooney

    Mark Rooney

 
 
Updated 1/13/2020 6:33 PM

Carpentersville has agreed to pay $220,000 to settle a 2018 lawsuit brought by former Village Manager Mark Rooney, who claimed the village fired him and refused to pay him severance, according to documents obtained by the Daily Herald.

The settlement agreement, approved last week by the village board, states that Rooney has been paid all wages and benefits related to his employment, which was terminated Jan. 24, 2018. The village's payment "instead represents compensation for Rooney's claimed emotional distress as stated in the litigation, liability for which the village denies," the deal says.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In exchange, Rooney has agreed to waive all allegations against Carpentersville and dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice.

The settlement agreement, obtained by the Daily Herald through the Freedom of Information Act, prevents either party from elaborating on the terms of the deal or initiating "any form of publicity" regarding the lawsuit.

In a prepared statement, Village Manager Eric Johnson said Carpentersville officials and Rooney have "identified a mutually agreeable resolution to the litigation and disagreement between them, which is in the economic interests of both parties."

Rooney's attorney, Patrick Walsh, released a similar statement, saying the agreement was in the "respective best interests" of his client and the village.

The settlement ends a roughly two-year legal battle between the village and Rooney, who held the manager position for seven years.

After weeks of negotiations surrounding his employment, the village board voted in January 2018 to accept what it considered to be Rooney's "voluntary resignation," saying he had stopped reporting for work.

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Rooney sued the village the following June, claiming he was placed on involuntary leave, then terminated from the position without receiving the $190,000 owed to him in severance and benefits per his contract.

Village officials at the time said Rooney was not entitled to the money because he left his post voluntarily. The lawsuit alleged he was terminated without cause, and it sought at least $217,000 in compensatory damages for breach of contract and violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.

In the settlement agreement, Carpentersville denies any wrongdoing, saying Rooney's claim for damages related to his contract is not valid.

"The contract entered by a previous village board cannot be legally enforceable against a subsequent board," the deal says.

The settlement aims to "reduce continuing expenses and the uncertainty of the outcome" of litigation, as desired by both parties.

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