A former Joliet City Councilman has filed a defamation lawsuit alleging that the mayor and the Inspector General falsely accused him of participating in a criminal conspiracy against the mayor.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday by Jim McFarland’s attorney John Schrock against Mayor Bob Odekirk, Joliet Inspector General Sean Connolly, and the City of Joliet. The lawsuit will be O’Dekirk’s third lawsuit since 2019.
Connolly dated March 1 that McFarland, former Joliet Police Chief Al Rochner, and several others pressured former City Councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson to file a false police report against Odekirk. issued a report claiming to be part of a “cabal” that pressured him to
Connolly’s report follows a 2020 Illinois State Police investigation into allegations that Odekirk may have threatened Dickinson and possessed nude photos of him. In May, it led to charges against Dickinson for attempted obstruction of justice for filing a false police report in the case, but the charges were dropped in November.
McFarland’s lawsuit launched a “partisan, unfair, and biased investigation by Connolly that went beyond the standards generally perceived by the Inspector General to apply to investigations, [McFarland]”
“A study by Sean Connolly [McFarland] was outside Sean Connolly’s enumerated authority [McFarland] was an individual and was not a resident, public official, officer, agent, subcontractor or contractor of the City of Joliet, or involved in any function or program of the City of Joliet,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges that Odekirk and Connolly made false statements that McFarland committed a conspiracy charge.
McFarland’s suit, as alleged in the Inspector General’s report, said he never attended a meeting at Lochner’s residence and never conspired with others to accuse Odekirk of the crime. claimed.
The lawsuit also stated that McFarland alleged that “Odekirk was accused of photographing Dickinson’s genitals. [McFarland] There was no conversation at all with prominent elected Will County officials about Dickinson. ”
McFarland did not answer Thursday’s call.
Schrock said McFarland was not interviewed by Illinois police in the Dickinson investigation. I got
“He had no obligation to do so,” Schrock said.
Schrock said McFarland did not tell Dickinson that he had heard that Odekirk owned nude pictures of Dickinson.
“All McFarland did was call [Dickinson] upon [Oct. 23, 2020] Please don’t resign,” Schrock said. “that’s it.”
Odekirk defended the allegations against McFarland on Thursday, saying he had not yet received further information about Dickinson’s affairs.
“McFarland’s role in all of this is documented in multiple police reports,” Odekirk said. “I didn’t make those reports. I didn’t make those claims, and neither did the Inspector General.”
However, McFarland’s lawsuit alleges that certain conclusions made in the Inspector General’s report contradict the state police report, including his alleged participation in meetings at the Lochner home. are doing.
Connolly did not return calls for comment.
However, Connolly’s attorney, Patrick W. Walsh, said Connolly did not make false statements or defame McFarland, and was “threatened or bullied for performing his duties as Joliet’s inspector general.” I will not be attacked,” he said in a statement.
The statement also said, “If Mr. McFarland does not dismiss his complaint after the election, the judicial process will result in the Inspector General’s attorneys finally filing McFarland under oath on the facts, his reputation, and his role. You are permitted to question Mr. All issues raised by the complaint.”
O’Dekirk has been sued on two other occasions during his tenure. Both lawsuits have been settled.
In 2020, Odekirk was sued by brothers Victor Williams and Jamal Smith in an altercation on May 31, 2020. The lawsuit resulted in the City of Joliet paying him $93,000.
A city insurance company paid a woman $50,000 to settle a 2019 lawsuit against Odekirk, who crashed her daughter-in-law into a car while driving to school in a city car.