The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Judge Rules Daley Can Be Included in Burge Lawsuits

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 10, 2011 2:30PM

Leave it to a judge to piss in the lemonade of Richard Daley's mayoral retirement. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled that Daley can be sued for alleged police brutality conspiracies related to the litany of abuses under the command of former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge. Daley could also be deposed by lawyers representing the alleged victims in any case.

The litany of torture allegations against Burge and his associates at Area Two police headquarters has been covered in detail for years. Although charges were never brought against Burge, he was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice last year related to his testimony in a 2003 civil trial and sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison in January. Daley was Cook County State's Attorney when the initial allegations against Burge surfaced.

In her July 26 ruling, Pallmeyer allowed Daley's name to be included on the list of defendants in the suit filed by Michael Tillman. Tillman was convicted for a 1986 rape and murder and served nearly 24 years in prison before his conviction was vacated and charges dismissed by a Cook County special prosecutor in January 2010. He received a certificate of innocence from the Circuit Court of Cook County one month later.

Pallmeyer said Tillman's attorneys "presented more than ‘naked assertions,’ and his conspiracy claim survives.” Flint Taylor, one of Tillman's attorneys, applauded the ruling.

“He’s never been deposed in any of these cases,” said Taylor, who has represented many of those who say they were routinely and savagely abused. “He’s never been sat down and questioned for seven hours about his involvement. He’s always managed to avoid that.”

Daley was questioned under oath once by a special prosecutor on 2006 but the questioning was widely regarded as very reverential. Daley and his city-hired attorneys received a deposition notice for Sept. 8 and have filed a motion asking Pallmeyer to reconsider her ruling.

The city has paid out over $43 million in settlements and legal fees related to the Burge case.