Craig, Sheahan, Sky Bar re-file lawsuit
Updated: July 2, 2012 10:07AM
After having their initial lawsuit dismissed, a group comprised of former village president John Craig, former police chief Tom Sheahan and former Sky Bar owner Iwona Burnat have re-filed their lawsuit against Oak Brook and several employees.
The lawsuit was filed May 14 in the United States District Court in Chicago. Named as defendants are the Village of Oak Brook, Village President Gopal Lalmalani, Trustee Gerald Wolin, former trustee Moin Saiyed, former trustee Robert Sanford, Village Manager Dave Niemeyer and police officers George Peterson, Garrett Church, Parry Barnes, Brian Strockis, Jason Cates and Tamie Shuey.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Tomic Law Group in Chicago, as they were previously. Phone calls made to Tomic were not returned.
Village President Gopal Lalmalani addressed the issue during Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting, saying the village will fight this latest lawsuit.
“I’m disappointed to tell you, just about when we thought we were done with it, the lawsuit from Sky Bar, Sheahan and Craig has been refilled a couple days ago,” Lalmalani said. “We obviously will be defending this lawsuit vigorously. We will leave no stone unturned to make sure we fight this lawsuit very vigorously.”
Craig was defeated by Lalmalani in the village presidential election of 2011, Sheahan resigned as police chief in April 2011 and, in October 2011, Lalmalani announced Sky Bar had been “physically evicted” from the Oaks of Oak Brook Shopping Center.
The new complaint contains allegations about a November 2010 incident between Craig and several police officers at Sky Bar. The complaint alleges the police officers “became belligerent and mocked Craig in front of witnesses.”
The complaint claims “ill will” toward Sheahan began when he brought up charges again Officer Stephen Peterson, charges that led to his termination in February 2011. It states Sheahan’s investigation into the Sky Bar incident “added to the mounting ill will.”
The complaint claims statements made by the defendants about Sheahan caused damage to Sheahan’s reputation and “stigmatized him in his profession.”
The complaint goes on to state the defendants “intensified their harassment of Sky Bar,” causing its investors to abandon it financially. The plaintiffs go on to claim an increased police presence caused “a loss of customers,” leading to Sky Bar falling behind on its lease.
The complaint contains nine counts against the defendants and seeks punitive damages in excess of $1.5 million per count.
Judge Gary Feinerman, who dismissed the original complaint Feb. 27 when the plaintiffs failed to show at a status hearing, is listed as judge on the amended complaint.