Cops tie village up in court

2004 year in review

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River Forest lost one court case, spent significant cash defending two others, and avoided a fourth in 2004. In March former patrolman Brendan O'Loughlan, who had won a previous suit in 2003, filed suit to force the village to reimburse him for medical expenses and to place him on their group health insurance plan. Within weeks, O'Loughlan won a court order directing the village to pay him a $25,000 in settlement.

On November 8, River Forest officers Lt. Craig Rutz and Sgt. Thomas Ludvik, who were already parties to a March, 2003 lawsuit, filed a second federal suit against the village. The second suit charged the village with two counts each of age discrimination and retaliatory behavior in regards to the promotion of Sgt. Dan Dooghie to the post of Deputy Chief for Operations.

The two officers, along with then Lt. Bruce Higgins, filed a 10 count federal civil suit in March 2003 after they were passed up for promotion by then-chief Michael Holub, who created two new Deputy Chief positions and filled one with Patrolman Kendra Sullivan, who was younger and less experienced than the other officers.

River Forest officials have refused to discuss pending litigation, but the attorney for the officers, David Thollander, said in December that he expects the first lawsuit to go to trial by early spring of 2005.

In early September Patrolman Sandra Navarette resigned, charging that there was a "hostile work environment" at the department. In particular, the 3-year veteran patrolman alleged that two supervisors "leered" at her, and scrutinized her on-duty behavior more closely than they did other officers. Navarette, who has not initiated any legal action, subsequently took a position with the Aurora police force.
?#34;Bill Dwyer

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