AVON TOWNSHIP, IL. (ECWd) -
Avon Township Supervisor and current Candidate for Supervisor Terry Wilke, is among the six people in receipt of a 3-Count lawsuit in Lake County Circuit Court filed this week.
The suit charges various Counts of Defamation, False Light, and Civil Conspiracy.
This is but one of many suits by other Plaintiffs that will be served on these defendants and various other defendants within the next several weeks. It stems from the various websites which cropped up late last fall, all with the apparent attempt at affecting local elections, among other things.
As noted in previous articles, we filed a "224" Motion in Circuit Court in order to serve subpoenas for the purpose of identifying defendants in upcoming lawsuits. As a result of one of the subpoenas, Terry Wilke was identified as this offending website's owner in Avon Township. There are more people and more websites involved in similar activity and we will keep our readers informed every step of the way.
Back to this article:
Plaintiff is current Avon Township Assessor and Candidate for Assessor Christopher Ditton.
Defendants are Terry Wilke, Joshua Cohen (removed from ballot by Appellate Court), and Yesenia Jaycee Ochoa, Jatyon Collier, Robert Meyers, and Anania Rodrigues a/k/a/ Anania Torres - the other members of Wilke's slate of candidates for township office.
In this Complaint:
- Wilke is a Member of the Lake County Board for the 16th District and the Supervisor of Avon Township
- The Plaintiff is running for reelection as the Assessor of Avon Township and the Defendants are running for various offices, on an opposing slate known as Avon Community Engaged ("ACE"), in Avon Township in the consolidated election to be held on April 6, 2021. Copies of the Home Page and "Who We Are" Page for the ACE slate obtained from https://aceunity.org/ is attached and incorporated as Exhibits A-1 and A-2, respectively
- On or about February 3, 2021, Defendant, Terry Wilke, created the website Avontownship.com on behalf of Ace to disseminate false information about the candidates currently in office in Avon Township and running against the Defendants. See, Registration information for avontownship.com showing Wilke as the domain Registrant, Technical, Administrative and Billing contact on behalf of ACE is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit B.
- Wilke, created a list of false and defamatory statements for three candidates, Michele Bauman, Chris Ditton and Jeanne Kirby, shortly after creating the website Avontownship.com. Copies of the defamatory statements published on the avontownship.com website are attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit C.
- Wilke, caused to be published on Avontownship.com, a statement that Plaintiff is part of a group of elected officials that has engaged in "payroll fraud" and specifically stating as an assertion of fact that Chris Ditton: "Hired his niece and then promoted her to full time, so she could receive free health care and a pension at the cost of the taxpayers."
- The posting contains false and defamatory statements about the Plaintiff.
- The Plaintiff does not now nor has he ever had a niece employed or working in the Assessor's Office of Avon Township
- The Plaintiff has never hired a family member for a position with the Avon Township Assessor's Office
- There are no public records which would support the statement published and disseminated by the Defendant, Terry Wilke.
- The statement published by the Defendant, Terry Wilke, is false.
Other paragraphs are available to read (here) or below, which tie all of the Defendants into the above, by way of and in furtherance of the alleged common scheme to defame Plaintiff.
An unspecified mount of damages have been requested.