Entries in Lawsuit (10)


Eleven Chicago Cops Sue City, Accusing Rahm Emanuel of Discrimination

Scott Olson/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is named in a federal lawsuit from 11 of the city’s police officers, alleging that the mayor unlawfully removed them from his security detail when he took office in 2011.

The officers, all of white or Hispanic descent, claim Emanuel, who was elected mayor in 2011, replaced senior members of his security detail with volunteers who contributed to the mayor’s campaign. They also allege that African-American officers with less seniority were given preferential treatment by being kept on Emanuel’s team.

Comments regarding the lawsuit were not granted to ABC News from either the city of Chicago or the mayoral office of Rahm Emanuel.

Jonathan R. Ksiazek and Edward M. Fox, the attorneys representing the 11 officers suing the city told ABC News that the demotion was all political. Though they could not confirm, the attorneys insist, "several of the officers who replaced our clients had connections with Emanuel or volunteered on his campaign.”

The lawsuit contends that security detail transfers violated Chicago’s Shakman decree that prohibits firings, demotions, transfers or other punishment of government employees stemming from political motivation.

“Under Shakman decree,” Fox says, “our clients have protected position. They cannot be fired or demoted for political reasons.”

The plaintiffs are suing the City of Chicago and Brian Thompson, the commander of the security detail who is responsible for demoting the tenured officers.

Ksiazek tells ABC News that Thompson worked as one of two commanders under the previous mayor, Richard Daley. “Shortly after Emanuel was sworn in, he made Thompson full commander of the security specialist unit 542 and the other guy was demoted.”

The attorney’s suggest that Thompson mustered up “Emanuel’s favor in some fashion in order to maintain his job.”

Though Ksiazek and Fox would not give details, they suggested, "Cmdr. Thompson made a comment prior to demotion of their clients," and they insinuate that the comment could have been skewed as a racial jab furthering the plaintiff’s claim that the demotions could have been racially motivated.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Richard Daley, Rahm Emanuel’s predecessor, who served as mayor from 1989 until 2011, interviewed the 11 officers for promotions to security specialist before they were assigned to the security detail. Those suing Emanuel expected that their promotions would stick once Daley left office; however, that was not necessarily the case.

During Emanuel’s transition into the mayoral seat, the 11 promoted officers who were transferred out of their positions were replaced by officers who were reportedly not required to follow the same formal application process that they had to undergo in order to receive their respective ranks.

“Our clients had to go through a series of interviews and a normal application process,” say the attorneys.

“From our understanding, the members that Emanuel replaced for the security detail did not have any formal application process.”

Those involved in the suit claim that the transfers from the mayor’s security detail resulted in a demotion of title as well as a reduction of pay and benefits. In response, the plaintiffs are seeking unspecified monetary damages and reversal of the job transfers.

All, except for one retired officer, want their jobs back, according to Fox. He explains that if city officials aren’t willing to give them their titles back, the officers are at least entitled to the pay that they received before being taken off the mayor’s security detail. “They want the job that they are entitled to.” Fox continues, “They are good jobs and they are the jobs that they wanted, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have them.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DCCC Reviewing Sheldon Adelson’s Lawsuit Threat

Jerome Favre/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Las Vegas Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has threatened to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) if it does not immediately retract and apologize for what Adelson’s lawyers call defamatory statements, “falsely accusing Mr. Adelson of encouraging and profiting from prostitution.”

ABC News obtained a copy of the letter sent to the DCCC, which claimed articles posted on the DCCC’s website are “outrageous and completely untrue.”  The articles were in relation to reports that said the Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO approved and knew of prostitution at the casino’s Macau location.

Adelson’s spokesman denied the claim after it surfaced last month, and his spokesman repeated on Wednesday the assertion that the prostitution claims are false.

While Adelson’s lawyer would not comment on the threatened lawsuit, a spokesman for Adelson told ABC News that he believes the letter and a related legal document “very clearly” speak for themselves.

DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson told ABC News that the DCCC just received the letter from Adelson’s legal team, will be internally reviewing it and did not immediately have a response.

Because Adelson is one of the most influential donors in the Republican Party, the DCCC asked on its website in regard to the prostitution claim, “What will Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor and House Republicans do with their Chinese prostitution money?”

In a separate post, Ferguson is quoted saying, “It’s past time for House Republicans to reject the support of these groups funded by foreign money from a Chinese prostitution strategy.”

Adelson’s lawyers claim the DCCC’s statements were “widely repeated” online and caused “serious and irreparable injury to Mr. Adelson and his family.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Sues to Extend Ohio Early Voting

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- President Obama’s re-election campaign has filed suit in federal court to block a Republican-sponsored Ohio law that mandates that early, in-person voting end a full three days before Election Day this fall.

The lawsuit is the latest twist in an ongoing battle over early voting in the state between Obama allies and the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature and Gov. John Kasich.

Democrats say the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Nov. 6 are critical days to “bank votes” needed to win Ohio.  In 2008, 30 percent of the total vote came during early voting, including 93,000 votes during the last three days.

Republicans say the early vote process is too long, too costly for budget-strapped counties and too prone to fraud and abuse. They also insist trimming the voting period -- not eliminating it entirely -- does not upend the convenience of the current process.

Before the law, local election boards could decide at their own discretion whether or not to hold early, in-person voting during the last three days.

“The last three days of Early Vote are especially important to ensuring a free and fair election,” Obama’s Ohio campaign said in a statement. “We are moving forward in the fight to reinstate the last 3 days of Early Voting and ensure that all Ohio voters can make their voices heard this November.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dept. of Justice Files Formal Action Against Florida Over Voter Purge -- The Department of Justice filed a formal lawsuit against the state of Florida to head off the state’s plan to purge ineligible voters from its rolls.

It’s the latest salvo in an ongoing legal battle, as the DOJ claims that Florida’s attempts to remove ineligible voters violates a federal law that’s meant to prohibit such purges within the 90-day period before an election for federal office.

“The Department of Justice has an overriding interest in protecting the rights of eligible citizens to register and vote free from unlawful burdens, while at the same time ensuring that ineligible persons do not register and vote in federal elections in violation of the law,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “The department is committed to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act so that these objectives are met.”

The DOJ’s lawsuit seeks a court order declaring that Florida has violated the law and calls on the courts to keep the state from continuing with the voter purge program.

Florida filed its own lawsuit on Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security, claiming the federal agency illegally restricted access to information on people who might not be eligible to vote.

Both lawsuits, along with one filed by the Florida American Civil Liberties Union against the state, ensure that the voter registration and removal issue will remain a contentious one up to the November elections.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum’s Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum has often called for limits medical malpractice lawsuits, but back in 1999, his wife Karen sued her chiropractor $500,000 for allegedly injuring her back.  Santorum testified in the case, telling the jury that the injury caused his wife pain and impaired her ability to campaign for him.

She “likes to be fit,” Santorum told the jury, according to an December 1999 article in Roll Call.  “We have to go out and do a lot of public things. She wants to look nice, so it’s really difficult.”

He and his wife, he said, “knocked on 20,000 doors together” during his last campaign, but now she “doesn’t have the confidence to do that.”

In addition to the pain and suffering of his wife, the injury forced the senator to do more work around the house.

“When I get home at night -- and I have long hours -- she’s exhausted. I have to do more stuff around the house -- which I am happy to do,” Santorum testified.

The problem started when Mrs. Santorum visited chiropractor Dr. David Dolberg to treat her sore back shortly after she lost her newborn son Gabriel.  According to the lawsuit, Dr. Dolberg made the problem worse by causing a herniated disk. Eventually Mrs. Santorum had surgery to fix the problem.

The jury awarded Mrs. Santorum $350,000 (although the award was later reduced to $175,000).

At the time, Democrat James Carville called Santorum “a world class hypocrite” because while his wife sued for $500,000, he had co-sponsored a bill limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 in non-economic damages.

And although Santorum testified in his wife’s case, he told ABC’s Primetime in 2005 that he doesn’t always agree with his wife.

“Of course I’m going to support my wife in her endeavors,” he said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with everything that she does.”

And he said his support for malpractice caps of $250,000 was not set in stone.

“Number one is that I’ve supported caps. I’ve been very clear that I am not wedded at all to a $250,000 cap and I’ve said publicly repeatedly, and I think probably that is somewhat low, and that we need to look at what I think is a cap that is a little bit higher than that,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Federal Judge in Virginia Rules Against Perry and Gingrich

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- A federal judge said Friday that he could not rule to add Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and other presidential candidates on the Virginia primary ballot because they waited too long to challenge Virginia’s strict ballot law.

“In essence," Judge John A. Gibney Jr. ruled, “they played the game, lost, and then complained the rules were unfair.”

Only after failing to get 10,000 signatures in time, the candidates sued arguing Virginia’s strict ballot law was unconstitutional. The law requires that only people eligible to register to vote in Virginia may circulate petitions for signatures to place a candidate on the ballot. The candidates argued that the law restricts their rights of free speech and association because fewer people can advocate for them as candidates.

While the ruling was a loss for the candidates, especially Gingrich, who won’t appear on the primary ballot in his state of residence, it could affect future candidates trying to get on the ballot. Gibney said that had the candidates brought suit earlier in the process they may have prevailed on the merits of their case challenging Virginia’s law.

“Had the plaintiffs filed a timely suit, the Court would likely have granted preliminary relief. They are likely to prevail on the constitutionality of the residency requirement, and, had they filed earlier, they would have been able to obtain the requisite 10,000 signatures,” he decided.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich Considering Joining Rick Perry’s Virginia Lawsuit

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CARROLL, Iowa) -- The Newt Gingrich campaign says it was contacted by members of Rick Perry’s team Thursday about joining the lawsuit the Texas governor filed against the Republican party of Virginia in the state’s Eastern District Federal Court.

Both GOP candidates were shut out of the state’s Super Tuesday primary ballot after failing to meet the requirement of filing 10,000 verifiable signatures by the deadline.

The Gingrich campaign has until Jan. 6 to decide if they would like to join the lawsuit, and they are considering it, according to campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond.

“Clearly Virginia is a flawed system, anything that can be done to give the choice of the top Republican candidates would be beneficial to all Republican voters,” Hammond said.

Gingrich leads in the latest Virginia polls, but if the lawsuit does not proceed, the former Speaker of the House has no chance of making it onto the ballot, as write-in votes are not allowed in the state.

A legal adviser for the Gingrich camp told ABC News that the other campaigns left off the ballot would be able to join the lawsuit, because the nature of the suit is a violation of first amendment rights. The suit alleges that the state’s standards of gathering 10,000 voter signatures -- 400 from each district -- make it near impossible to land on the ballot.

The Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman campaigns did not submit signatures, while the Gingrich, Perry, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney campaigns submitted more than the amount required. The state’s Republican party announced Gingrich did not make the ballot on Dec. 24.

All campaigns have until Jan. 6 to decide if they will join the suit, which will be heard on Jan. 13.

Another unrelated lawsuit to get Gingrich on the ballot was announced Thursday by Virginia resident Jonathon Moseley, who reportedly filed the suit in Richmond County Circuit Court. The lawsuit is reportedly not connected to Gingrich or his campaign.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nevada Man Sues DMV over 'GoPalin' License Plate Denials

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(CARSON CITY, Nev.) -- A Nevada man has filed a lawsuit against his state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, claiming his rights were violated when the agency repeatedly denied his requests for a personalized license plate that supports Sarah Palin.

James Linlor states in a July 15 complaint that he requested a license plate of "GOPALIN" in 2009 and 2010 and was denied both times.  Linlor claims he tried again in 2010, requesting "PALIN," "PALIN12" or "PALIN16" on a license plate and was again rejected by the DMV, which deemed the requests too political and, because of it, violated departmental policy.

According to the lawsuit, an administrative judge later reversed the DMV's rejection of Linlor's request for "PALIN," "PALIN12" or "PALIN16."  The lawsuit states that despite the judge’s ruling, the DMV again denied Linlor's request for a "GOPALIN" license plate.

According to his complaint, Linlor discovered that the DMV had approved and issued other license plates with political ties, including "GOGREEN," "DMOCRAT," "AL GORE," "HILLARY" and "RONPAUL," while rejecting requests for "REPBLCN" and "BUSH."  Linlor claims when he applied for a "GO OBAMA" plate, the DMV approved it.

Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada DMV, tells the Las Vegas Sun he’s not sure why Linlow filed the lawsuit this month because his "GOPALIN" plate was issued on December 30, 2010.  He also notes he wasn't the DMV director when Linlor filed his requests.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kucinich Settles Olive Dispute for Undisclosed Sum

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich says that he has reached a settlement in his suit against four vendors that service a congressional cafeteria where he suffered a cracked tooth after he bit into a sandwich containing an unpitted olive in 2008.

Kucinich, who filed the suit Wednesday seeking $150,000 in damages, said the terms of the settlement are confidential, but he believes the defendants responded “fairly and reasonably.”

“The parties have exchanged information and after some investigation and discussion have resolved the matter for an amount all parties believe reflects the actual out-of-pocket expenses related to this incident,” Kucinich, D-Ohio, said. “I don't want to have to make another dental visit for a very long time.”

Kucinich, who has twice sought the Democratic nomination for president, says the injury required three dental surgeries over the course of two years and cost a substantial amount of money to rectify. According to Kucinich, his health insurance and dental insurance did not cover the expenses of the injury, which affected his “ability to chew food properly.”

A complaint filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Wednesday said that Kucinich suffered "serious and permanent dental and oral injuries" in the incident and asserted that the tainted sandwich wrap was “unwholesome and unfit for human consumption, in that it was represented to contain pitted olives, yet unknown to plaintiff contained an unpitted olive.”

Kucinich, who ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 and 2008, bought the sandwich from the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria on April 17, 2008, according to the complaint.

Before settling, Kucinich was seeking $150,000 in damages, plus interest and costs, from Restaurant Associates, which manages the cafeteria, and three other businesses that stock and help run the operation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kansas Attorney General Asks to Add State to Health Care Lawsuit

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Kansas sent a letter Wednesday to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asking that Kansas be allowed to join the lawsuit which challenges the constitutionality of the nation’s recently passed health care reform law. The request fulfills a campaign promise Schmidt made to add Kansas to the long list of states opposed to federal health care.

“This lawsuit is about standing up for the rule of law and protecting the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution. Our federal government is designed to be a government of limited, enumerated powers, and we do not believe it has the power to order citizens into commerce so it can then regulate their conduct under authority of the Commerce Clause.  Whatever the merits or demerits of health care reform, the ends cannot justify an unconstitutional means,” Schmidt said.

Kansas joins the list of states requesting to join the lawsuit, originally filed in federal district court in Florida, along with Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming. If all of those states are added, 26 in total would have pending legal action against the health care law.

Schmidt said he believes the questionable constitutionality of the original health care bill is so important that it will eventually land on the desks of Supreme Court justices.

"This is an historic defining of the relationship among our federal government, the states, and the liberty of individual American citizens.  For those of us who believe that not all wisdom resides in Washington and, therefore, neither should all power, this is a constitutional fight worth fighting,” Schmidt said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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