Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved.

April 17, 2024

Chicago Suburban Church Gets Federal Court Hearing in Discrimination Suit Against Dolton’s Mayor Tiffany Henyard on March 26

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 25, 2024

Chicago, Ill. (ECWd) –

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, attorneys for the Redeemed Christian Church of Dolton, Illinois, will ask a federal court to make the mayor of the south suburban Chicago village abide by the law. The Chicago-based law firm of Mauck & Baker is representing the church in the religious discrimination lawsuit that the congregation has filed against Mayor Tiffany Henyard and the Village of Dolton. The court will consider the church’s request for intervention in the form of a declaratory judgement or a permanent or preliminary injunction.

***

Chicago Suburban Church Gets Federal Court Hearing in Discrimination Suit Against Dalton’s Mayor

March 26 Court Date Set as Congregation Seeks to Halt Henyard’s Blatant Violation of Religious Rights

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312.422.1333, [email protected]

(March 25, 2024 – Dolton, Illinois) On March 26, 2024, attorneys for the Redeemed Christian Church of Dolton, Illinois, will ask a federal court to make the mayor of the south suburban Chicago village abide by the law. The Chicago-based law firm of Mauck & Baker is representing the church in the religious discrimination lawsuit that the congregation has filed against Mayor Tiffany Henyard and the Village of Dolton. The court will consider the church’s request for intervention in the form of a declaratory judgement or a permanent or preliminary injunction.

John Mauck, partner at Mauck & Baker, reported that Henyard appears to be “calling the shots,” based on statements by village employees. The lawsuit accuses Dolton officials operating under Henyard’s command in the deliberate illegal treatment of the church, which is in violation of the municipality’s own zoning ordinances.

WHAT:

  • Court hearing on Motion for Declaratory Judgement, Permanent Injunction or Preliminary Injunction Relief in Redeemed Christian Church of God Resurrection Power Assembly v. Tiffany Henyard and the Village of Dolton

WHEN:

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 11:00 am (Central)

WHERE:

  • United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois – Eastern Division, Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604, courtroom 1219

MAP: https://maps.app.goo.gl/7dEu1ew4m14BTPtJA

WHO:

  • John Mauck, Partner, Mauck & Baker
  • Judith Kott, Senior Associate Attorney, Mauck & Baker

Mauck related the basic narrative of the case, explaining how Redeemed Christian Church has been worshipping in Chicago’s south suburbs for ten years and purchased property at 703 E Sibley Boulevard, in an area zoned to permit religious institutions. While the village is illegally preventing the church from operating in the limited retail zone, it is allowing nonreligious uses by others including hotels, municipal buildings, a library, and other nonresidential groups.

“This is a blatant violation of religious civil rights, as well as an incredible disregard for the village’s own ordinances,” said Mauck.

Prior to the church’s June 2023 purchase of the property, it was confirmed that the Village of Dolton’s Zoning Code allowed for churches at the Sibley Blvd. location. Permits were acquired, renovation of the property commenced. During the process one of the village’s building inspectors informed the church that it needed to apply for a business license.

Redeemed Christian Church Senior Pastor Stephen Osunkeye went to the Dolton Village Hall to fill out the application for the church’s business license. Osunkeye was told by Housing Director William Moore that he

did not believe the application for a business license would be approved because it was the Mayor of Dolton’s intention to keep Sibley Boulevard limited for commercial purposes only.

“The village lacks a rational or compelling reason that would justify their denial of Resurrection Power Assembly’s business license to open a church on the property,” Mauck noted. “The mayor’s desire to limit a street to commercial businesses does not create a compelling interest to violate Dolton’s own zoning code. And it certainly does not justify unconstitutional discrimination against a house of worship.”

Dolton’s mayor has received wide criticism since taking office in 2021. Henyard has been accused of extortion and misappropriation of village funds. Multiple allegations of corruption have pitted Henyard against the village trustees. On February 11, 2024, the board passed a resolution for an outside investigation into Henyard’s spending, placing the city in debt, which has grown to $7 million. At a March 4, 2024, village board meeting, Henyard vetoed that resolution. The village trustees have continued to take action against the mayor, imploring the FBI to open an investigation into Henyard.

Read the Plaintiff’s Motion for Declaratory Judgement, Permanent Injunction or Preliminary Injunction Relief filed on March 18, 2024, by Mauck and Baker attorneys in United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois – Eastern Division in Redeemed Christian Church of God Resurrection Power Assembly v. Tiffany Henyard and the Village of Dolton here: https://tinyurl.com/4mk56425.

Read the original Verified Complaint for Damages, for Declaratory Judgement or in the Alternative Injunctive Relief in Redeemed Christian Church of God Resurrection Power Assembly v. Tiffany Henyard and the Village of Dolton, as filed on March 5, 2024, by Mauck and Baker attorneys in United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois – Eastern Division here: https://tinyurl.com/ywxe8zpn.

Contact information for the Village of Dolton:

  • Tiffany Henyard, Mayor – 708.201.3270, [email protected]
  • Keith Freeman, Village Administrator – [email protected]
  • Cynthia S. Grandfield, Partner, Del Galdo Law Group- (312) 222-7000 ext. 205

[email protected]

SHARE THIS

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print

RELATED

No Comments

Post A Comment

$