3rd suit filed, but papers still not served

? Neither village nor former police chief formally served with new charges yet.

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A third federal lawsuit filed by River Forest Police Lt. Craig Rutz against the village Dec. 17 and unsealed May 27 has yet to be formally served on the village.

Village administrator Chuck Biondo said Tuesday that the village still had not been served, and that he couldn't comment on the issue.

Former River Forest Police Chief Michael Holub, now chief in La Grange, is a central figure in all three lawsuits. He said Tuesday that he has not heard of the new suit, and so could not make any comment regarding it.

"I don't even have enough information to make a bad statement," he said. "I would imagine these issues are being handled by River Forest's attorneys."

Joseph Vallort, an attorney with the law firm of Chilton, Yambert, Porter & Young, who is representing the Village of River Forest in the two other federal lawsuits, was unavailable for comment Tuesday before press time.

The three-count lawsuit, which unlike the previous two civil rights suits is filed under the federal False Claims Act, alleges that the village, "through its agent Michael Holub, knowingly and willfully failed to comply with the terms and obligations" of a year 2000 B.A.D.G.E. grant, and that they failed to return any unused portion of the grant. The complaint also accuses Holub of submitting an evaluation of the program to an oversight organization "with actual knowledge that the information contained therein was false and misleading regarding the implementation of the Tactical Unit program and the results thereof."

The suit asks for a civil penalty on all three counts, triple damages, payment of all plaintiff legal fees and expenses, and other consequences "as the court deems proper."

The U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois declined on May 25 to actively prosecute the third lawsuit, but the United States of America is listed as a party to the suit, and has formally reserved the right re-enter it in the future, and to OK any settlement of the case.CONTACT: bdwyer@wjinc.com

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