City To Settle Two Police Misconduct Cases—One With Ties To Jon Burge
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 14, 2013 11:30PM
The City Council Finance Committee is expected to approve settling two high-profile police misconduct cases when it meets Tuesday, for a combined total of nearly $33 million.
One of the cases involves the pattern of police torture under imprisoned former police Cmdr. Jon Burge. Alton Logan was cleared in 2008 of murdering a security guard at a McDonald’s on the Far South side in 1982; he served 26 years in prison before he was released. Logan later filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit that was about to go to trial, with Burge expected to testify via video hookup from the federal prison in North Carolina where he’s serving 4-1/2 years for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Logan’s attorney, Jon Loevy, told the Sun-Times he’s still struggling with the transition from prison to everyday life nearly five years later.
“Mr. Logan lost 26 years of his life. He went in in his 20’s. He came out in his 50’s. No amount of money can compensate a man for everything they lose under those circumstances,” he said. “It’s hard to make a life when you’ve lost so much. He’s applied for hundreds of jobs. When they find out about this hole in his resume, it makes it very hard.”
Logan is expected to receive $10.25 million. Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed his wish last year to settle all the police misconduct cases related to Burge before the go to trial.
The other settlement is a $22.5 million payment to the family of Christina Eilman, a California woman with a history of mental health issues who was released from overnight lockup to a high-crime neighborhood on the South side in 2006. Eilman, who was in the middle of a bipolar breakdown at the time, was later raped and tossed out a seventh-floor window at Robert Taylor Homes; she suffered brain damage, a shattered pelvis and several other injuries.
Eilman’s family contended her injuries could have been avoided had police recognized her mental illness and had it properly treated. Had the settlement not been reached the family would have moved forward with a lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages. The settlement is still expected to be one of the largest settlements of a police negligence case in Chicago’s history.