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‘Watchdogs’ appeal DuPage judge’s OK of lawsuit over reporting of alleged ‘pay to play’ for COD contract

Jonathan Bilyk Aug. 31, 2016, 4:14pm


Journalists who help chronicle and expose corruption in Illinois governments have asked a state appeals court to step in, after a DuPage County judge refused to dismiss a $16 million defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who claims the men known as the Edgar County Watchdogs wrongly accused her of committing a crime when they wrote she engaged in “pay to play” and used an improper exemption to secure a no-bid contract from the College of DuPage – awarded the same day she joined the college’s fundraising foundation board.

Kirk Allen and his non-profit news organization, Edgar County Watchdogs Inc., have filed a petition with the Illinois Second District Appellate Court in Elgin, asking justices to toss the decision of DuPage County Circuit Judge Robert G. Kleeman, who denied their motion to dismiss the legal action brought against the Watchdogs by plaintiffs Carla Burkhart and her company, Herricane Graphics Inc., of west suburban West Chicago.

Continue reading at the Cook County Record (click here).

 

2 replies »

  1. The real problem is the judge. There is no basis for this cause of action. The judge is not fit to serve on the bench. This decision not to dismiss is something that the Illinois Judicial Review should investigate. I hope the Watchdogs and all the others, Andreweski, and the Clean Slate get treble damages awarded, eventually. Clarie Burkhart, you have shown how very inept you are. We already knew you violated law by representing yourself as an architect. Are you certain feagans is really a lawyer.

  2. I am really angry about this SLAPP that was filed against the ECWs. So much so that I have been petitioning our Senators here in Illinois, Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin, and making their offices aware of this suit. I have also spoken with my Congressman’s office about it. I want my legislators to know that THIS is why we need a strong Federal Anti-SLAPP bill to pass soon, preferably one that would criminalize the conduct involved in filing a meritless SLAPP. In my opinion, attorneys who file these SLAPPs should be disbarred. And the plaintiff should be made to pay triple damages. Only then will these SLAPPs stop. If a lawyer would lose his license and be barred from practicing in Illinois again for filing a SLAPP, you better believe he would think twice about taking on a client like Carla Burkhart. Think of all the savings in the Court’s time this would lead to.

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