One of three officers in a March 2003 discrimination lawsuit filed against the River Forest Police department has reportedly settled with the village.

Bruce Higgins, 56, a retired police lieutenant, settled out of court May 9, according to a motion filed by his attorney May 18. That motion seeks to dismiss Higgins from the case. Higgins, then 53, had alleged he was denied a promotion to deputy chief because of his age, and that the department had retaliated against him for filing an age discrimination complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Citing village policy, Village Administrator Chuck Biondo declined Friday to confirm or deny any settlement, saying that the village board would have to approve any proposed settlement, should any be proposed. Monday night the board went into executive session to discuss “pending litigation.”

David Thollander, Higgins’ attorney, said Friday that his client had in fact settled, though he declined to discuss any details of that settlement except to say that his client “is content.”

“He felt it was time to put this behind him,” Thollander said. “We resolved the case and we’re happy.”

Thollander noted in his motion before Judge Joan Gottschall that the claims filed by Higgin’s co-plaintiffs, Sgt. Thomas Ludvik and Lt. Craig Rutz, remain “pending, undetermined and unresolved.”

In that lawsuit, filed in March 17, 2003, Higgins, Rutz and Ludvik had been demanding that they be promoted to the positions and be given the seniority they would have had “but for the [village’s] discriminatory acts,” as well as the payment of front pay, back pay, fringe benefits, health insurance benefits, pension credits and social security credits that would have been earned had they been given the contested promotions.

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