Village pays $650,000 in police sex assault case

Case against Det. Young Lee resolved before going to trial

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By Jean Lotus

Editor

The Forest Park village council approved a settlement agreement at the village council meeting April 14 to resolve the lawsuit filed by a former police department intern against the village and Forest Park Police Detective Young Lee.

The village and Lee paid $650,000 to plaintiff  "Jane Doe." In 2011, the then-19-year-old intern sued the village after she said she was attacked and sexually assaulted by Lee. The village's insurance company will pay $646,000 of the total, and Lee will pay $4,000, said Mayor Anthony Calderone.

Judge Sara L. Ellis in the Northern District of Illinois Federal Court had originally set a trial date for the case for May 5. The village and attorneys for the intern agreed to settle the case by April 29.

The woman accused Lee of accompanying her to a pub in Berwyn as part of an "alcohol sting" on March 30, 2011. She alleged Lee bought her two drinks and then sexually assaulted her in her car. She says she woke up the next morning in her apartment building's laundry room. The woman filed a department complaint against Lee on April 7, 2011.

The village investigated the complaint and suspended Lee, who is married with a child, for 30 days for conduct unbecoming an officer for providing alcohol to a minor and for having a sexual relationship with an intern. Lee was demoted to patrol officer. The village claimed Lee was off-duty and that the sexual contact was consensual.

The intern alleged the village was liable because her lawyers claimed the intern was an employee. She also sued the village and Lee personally for inflicting intentional emotional distress, assault and battery.

The village disputed the claim that the woman was really an employee.

The woman joined the department as an intern, because she wanted to go into police work, said her lawyer Roshna Bala Keen. She also owed more than $3,000 in unpaid Forest Park parking tickets, but Lt. Steve Weiler of the police department reduced the parking violation fines to $400. The woman agreed to participate in underage alcohol stings at $20 each to help pay off the tickets, according to trial documents.

It was under this agreement that the woman's lawyers characterized Lee as her "supervisor" and her position as a village employee.

The village disputed that, as an intern, the woman was an employee of the village of Forest Park and said she had no basis to sue on those grounds.

The woman's lawyers argued that the department had a culture of not taking sexual harassment and assault seriously. They presented a history over the past 10 years of incidents of officers participating in both sexual harassment of fellow officers and civilians and two accusations of sexual assault.

However, the village provided proof that all officers received several rounds of sexual harassment training. A wrinkle in the case developed when the village's lawyer, Julie Bruch of O'Halloran Kosoff Geitner & Cook, also wore the hat of the facilitator for the police department's sexual harassment trainings.

In one legal maneuver, the village contended that Bruch could not be deposed about her sexual harassment training work because she was protected by the rule of attorney-client privilege.

Most recently, the village had attempted to say that the woman had waived her right under her state civil claim against Lee by not filing a worker's compensation claim. Her lawyers contended that the village considered her an employee if they thought she was eligible to file for workers' compensation.

 This article has been updated to report that Lee was demoted to patrol officer. 

CONTACT

Email: jlotus@forestparkreview.com

Twitter: @FP_Review

Reader Comments

51 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Taxpayer  

Posted: April 20th, 2014 10:17 AM

What shocks me about the Forest Park App (how much did that cost us taxpayers?) is that it doesn't link to all the news in the Post.....haha....I forgot no news in the Post!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 11:28 AM

'The forest park phone app does nothing. All the news items are just links back to the FPR.' Oh, man, Taxpayer, that's just precious. Tom Mannix, the critic of 'media filters,' sells an app to the village that allows people to read stuff from the dreaded media filter by going through his mobile app filter. Are these clowns capable of seeing the irony in their goofiness?

Question  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 11:18 AM

Could Tony really be sgt Schultz from hogan's heroes? After all, he knew nothing either!

Taxpayer  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 10:46 AM

The forest park phone app does nothing. All the news items are just links back to the FPR. The overnight part still doesn't work. Says to call. The Best program is another expensive joke. More $$ spent, similar to all the waste on lawsuits! How much has Calderone led FP lost with his stupid decisions? More $$ than I care for. Yet some blind folks still love him and his 'leadership'.

Best  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 9:41 AM

Maybe the village can use the "Forest Park Best" program/app for reporting overnight parking. It would be the only useful thing that expensive program does, and Mannix could make some more $$ on it. Ha!

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 9:09 AM

how did you find it? from the village site, searching 'overnight parking pass', i get this page: http://www.forestpark.net/dfp/police_department_faq which doesn't help.

overnight parking link  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 8:14 AM

@Sharon -- I seem to remember the online form to do overnight parking permit was broken. This looks like it's fixed www.fp-overnight-parking.appspot.com/ Of course a phone app would be nice too.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 7:58 AM

WHY DOESN'T THE VILLAGE HAVE A MOBILE APP TO CALL YOUR CAR IN FOR AN OVERNIGHT PASS? Our charming town is also a bar town that both invites and employs tons of young adults - you know, the foolish kind - that rack up parking tickets because it's almost impossible not to. The plaintiff in this case racked up $3k but I've heard worse and it's a real problem. About a year ago i asked the pkg dept why i couldn't get an overnight pass via the village website, and was instructed that it was possible but stuck in an obscure 5-6 clicks-away closet. i found it once, have now forgotten how to locate, and not sure it exists on the new/improved website. WHY DON'T THE BARS HAVE SIGNS UP (all over the place) WARNING THEIR PATRONS TO CALL 366-7272 BEFORE 2AM FOR AN OVERNIGHT PASS? It's almost as if they don't value the patrons that support their businesses/village.

Observer  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 7:31 AM

@ facebook Verified Faux Pas...Nope, just a John Q citizen just like you. In regard to your post tl;dr http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tl%3Bdr

FoPa Watcher  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 7:07 AM

Obdistractor- You, like the current administration that you "back", can't seem to have an honest discussion about anything. The repetitive pattern is to drag everything down to a playground level where bullying rules. You showed up on the forums, sent me a private message suggesting a "real name swap". I immediately responded with my real name as I have done whenever I've been asked. You failed to reciprocate. You didn't hold up your end of the deal. You don't want your family or friends questioned about your positions or postings...period.. (your words). Could it be that you are not just a backer of the current administration, but a member of it or financially dependent on it? Why else would you make absolutely everything personal? You've already inserted my IRL name into the FPR comment section. Is nobody supposed to notice that you're the one hiding behind an alias while calling out everybody else? You've utterly failed to address anything in a meaningful way, you're just here to distract. You've succeeded again. It doesn't change the awful smell of this settlement. I can only hope the people reading can see you for what you are.

Observer  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 12:31 AM

@ Bill ...I'm with you on this..Hawks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! don't kick em while they are down ;) can't sleep!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 11:55 PM

Obs, don't use big words or phrases. They don't fit your posts. And I can't sleep right now. The Hawks lost in triple OT. But thanks for your concern for my health.

Observer  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 11:14 PM

@ Sharon...Ad Hominem is banned from this forum ;) Bill D..please take a nap..In my opinion Willy is disingenuous (columnist or reporter or whatever, he's full of S%^T) that's my opinion...I'm entitled to that and yep I also back the current administration.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 10:37 PM

I think the Review should offer a large $$ award to the person who can identify/resurrect one (1) substantive counter argument comment when their favorite PTB and the bad governance they got caught in. C'mon, just one proper, on-topic, not-drunk, not-ad hominem argument. I haven't seen one since at least 2007.

higher standard  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 9:21 PM

@Observer -- "former journalists should be held to a higher standard." In what universe does having once worked as a journalist mean that I forfeit my access to anonymous political speech? "we wouldn't need to have this dialog..." Actually we already needn't have it. As FPW said, you guys sound silly or desperate whining about people's handles on a story about the last in a line of settlements that brings the total since 2000 to over $2M. But, but, ... FPW and his FB TOS -- that's a scandal!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 9:01 PM

Watcher is not a "former journalist." For all his writing skills, he's a former local columnist. He never pretended to be a reporter, just an informed citizen with some important points to make, points the PTBs don't want to hear. Just as Sharon Daly is not a "journalist," but a local columnist. This being Forest Park, i.e., Melrose Park South, you're either blindly for Anthony Calderone or you're an enemy. So consider me an enemy. Come and get us if you're up to dealing with the consequences.

Observer  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 8:50 PM

@ Wild Willy ...We wouldn't need to have this dialogue if you had just followed Bill D. He gave up the B.S. and now contributes..I respect that. You give me the creeps. You, like Bill are former journalists you should be held to a higher standard. Plus..you are Facebook verified ;) ;)

FoPa Watcher  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 7:57 PM

Asks the psuedonym onion router guy? I switched to FB verification because somebody else was posting inane comments as Watcher. Was that fair? Did I piss and moan about it? No, I switched to FB verification commenting. How is that absurd?+ I'll say it again, it's not about ME! I don't take a dime from the taxpayers. It's not my job to run things. It IS my job to comment when the Jamokes we're PAYING to run things do stupid things that cost all of us a lot of money. I piss and moan about us spending $100 million dollars over the last ten years, but every time it rains I have to help my neighbors pump out their basements. I yap about money pissed away on lawyers, consultants and do-nothing phone apps. But hey, Three beats two. Majority rules. You have to give sugar to get sugar, but MATC doesn't know who's giving money? And "we" keep falling for his side-show antics? Yep, clearly it's ME that's the problem.

Observer  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 6:57 PM

@ "FoPa Watcher" since you mentioned my pseudonym, I wish to point out that I only use that name....I said my piece regarding your absurd use of Facebook verification when it first appeared here..I'm interested to know why you did this? gain credibility or more space to write?..not sure and I really don't care. You said it wasn't a secret who you are, so why not just put your name on it? Now, I breeze past your comments, at least Dwyer and Daly put the work in and own what they post.

4 poster comment  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 6:12 PM

@Not fair Jean -- I don't think letting other readers know who you are is necessarily the reason for allowing longer posts. Also It is hardly FPR's job to enforce Facebook Terms of Service. If you are so concerned tattle to the Facebook police. As for the welfare of the many children at risk reading the FPR comments I'm confident judicious application of FPR comment policy will protect us from "predators of all sizes and shapes," even those shaped like concern trolls. ;-)

FoPa Watcher  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 5:40 PM

Observer/NFJ/ et al... Facebook has my real name and information. I'm not sure what part of that you don't grok. That's their "terms of use". You may want to talk this over with Josh Holmes, Piggyback Smith, Finchy Calderonista, Sam Jung, Han Daley and the other MPD addled gang. Nothing to say about my comment though? Yeah, I'm the problem...

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 4:58 PM

"it sickens (you) (that FoPa Watcher) is not being stopped!"? Really, Not fair Jean. You have weird priorities. He's commenting on an expensive payout for the latest in a long history of village mismanagement of the police department, and you're upset because Watcher "is not being stopped"? What about our pathetic excuse for a mayor and police superintendent? Feeling at all queasy about that?

Not fair Jean from Forest Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 4:50 PM

@watcher/judger In Facebook's statements of rights and responsibilities it is written "Facebook users provide their real names and information and we need your help to keep it that way." It is my understanding that it is to protect us from predators of all sizes and shapes. It is also my understanding that this newspaper allows you a longer post if you are Facebook verified because the readers know who you are. You for now have found a way around this & it sickens me you are not being stopped!

FoPa Watcher  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 10:39 AM

This settlement stinks like an rotten onion. Layer after layer. A young woman's life was permanently scarred. The officer is still employed? Will likely retire with pension intact. The police department via its ordinance court turned a handful of tickets into a $3000 tab. Lt. Weiler made a deal that bound a young woman to servitude for a minimum of 20 "sting ops". They mayor don't know nothing about nothing. He is their leader. Which way did they go? Who foots the legal bills? What were the legal bills? How clever to have the attorney be the contracted "sexual harassment seminar" trainer. Layer after layer. Nothing to see here, move along. OTOH, maybe the young woman orchestrated the whole affair looking for a big-time settlement. She lured Det. Lee into seeing how other towns handle under-age drinkers. She manipulated a seasoned, mature officer into consensual sex then cried rape. That's what the internal investigation must have concluded in its findings of "conduct unbecoming". Then again, he's been around this town awhile. He knows how things work. Women go looking for cops for sex all the time... Layer after layer...

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 1:37 PM

and don't forget the linked legal fees, also astronomical. in which town do our village attnys hang their hat?

Taxpayer   

Posted: April 16th, 2014 12:24 PM

Alleys rot and sewers flood and Tim and Tony will just continue to blame all of us somehow.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 7:41 PM

Insurance companies always make it their business to know what their finical exposure is. They are willing to liable to pay a certain amount. Once they believe they're at risk for more than that, they demand that the client settle, or the client assumes 100% of the liability beyond that. Obviously the insurance company believed it could be on the hook for more than $646,000. They'll get their money back over the next few years via jacked up premiums. Remember that when your alley rots away.

wow  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 7:25 PM

That testimony is pretty amazing. Regarding "insurance paid it" one could look at the increase in insurance premiums from when FP started getting hit with these law suits and compare between FP and other villages. This would put a dollar amount on what this is actually costing us. I am curious if there is any FOIAble correspondence between our insurance carrier and the village. Presumably the insurance company weighed in on the decision to settle.

FoPa Watcher  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 6:08 PM

Geez, at least Nero fiddled while Rome burned. $650K is a lot of new alleys and flood control assistance. I understand that "insurance" paid for the settlement, but Ins. Cos don't just give money away. Bad management continues.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 4:55 PM

That does dovetail nicely with a guy who tries to take all the credit but none of the blame.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 4:07 PM

re: Calderone's transcript, i believe he said he has all the power but no duties or responsibilities. interesting gig.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 1:53 PM

In Calderone's own words: --- http://forestparkforums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4856&title=tony-calderone-at-work-as-police-superintendent

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 12:01 PM

Calderone states in a federal court deposition that he has the power to fire police, under the terms of the current contract. That's in addition to his sole authority to hire and fire part-time officers.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 11:22 AM

What function does the Police/Fire Commission play in hirings/firings and issues of this kind? The village website states "The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the village council. They oversee the hiring, promoting, and dismissing of the civil servants (Fire & Police personnel) within the Village of Forest Park. The Board conducts their regular public meeting the 3rd Thursday of every month." The board is: Steve Hinton, Brad Zandstra and Amy Rita (Chair) Secretary: Dora Murphy but i never see minutes or hear of decisions/recommendations they make. Anyone know?

Taxpayer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 11:14 AM

So Calderone is emperor over the police dept. and emperor over the liquor licenses? And now we are getting sued because one of his cops trying to conduct a sting takes an underage woman over to another town to drink? Gotta wonder why she went willingly w/Lee to Berwyn? Not that it excuses his behavior (he should definitely be held to a higher standard). And this village is afraid of video gaming? Seems we have much bigger things to be worrying about!!!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 11:07 AM

Let me try again with 'What are you thinking.' Don't presume to read my mind, pal. Everything about this sordid case bothers me. My point was that a small village like FP has twice as many losing civil lawsuits as a town four times the size. That goes to the competency of police oversight. And no one has greater say over the police department that Calderone. His tenure has been an utter failure that cost us dearly in settlements, legal fees and insurance premiums. FP now has a target on its back

Resident from Forest Park  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 11:05 AM

I Think it is time for a new Emperor and New Clothes

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 10:59 AM

'What do you have to do to get fired??' Ask Tony Calderone, Matt. One of the interesting things to come out of the Doe v Lee case is a deposition in which Calderone states that he has authority to fire police officers under the current FOP contract. Over the years. Calderone has assumed unprecedented control over the police department. The result, as best I can tell, has been a debacle. Not just in federal court, but state court and in internal disciplinary problems and related costs.

Resident from Forest Park   

Posted: April 15th, 2014 10:58 AM

Why are these people not fired for abuse and or Jailed for Sex Crimes instead of a suspensions. For a view of what the surrounding area in Law Suites check here under the Better Government Site. http://www.bettergov.org/not_just_a_chicago_thing/?CategoryId=1

Jean Lotus from Forest Park Review Forest Park Review Employee

Posted: April 15th, 2014 10:56 AM

Just a reminder that the plaintiff's identity is confidential pursuant to court order.

wondering  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 10:38 AM

Why would officer Lee be doing a bar sting in another town and our town be responsible? Was that bar written up and sued? A broke FP loses again

Enrique H from Forest park  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 9:09 AM

Wait a minute!!, is this article only about the wasted money?, where is the article about who was fired, or in jail?. Mayor Calderone, what are going to be the next steps to prevent cases like that?. Are we living in economic bonanza to waste tax payer's money?. There are so many other things in FP where that money is more than welcome, education and security for example.Thanks

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 8:56 AM

The weirdest thing to me is they paid the young lady in parking tickets. What, three expired meters per sting? Did they get this 'contract' in writing and did a superior sign off on it? goofs.

Matt  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 8:37 AM

Whats even weirder is after this story broke the FPPD still sent Officer Lee into bars to do stings with underage girls. What do you have to do to get fired??

What are you thinking about?  

Posted: April 15th, 2014 3:15 AM

An on-duty cop pays a 19 year old subordinate to go have drinks in a bar with him as part of an underage drinking sting.The bar serves her. But no "sting" ensues because the cop is too busy trying to have sex with a teenager he just got drunk. This seems to bother no one. What bothers you is that the village wasn't savvy enough to legally wiggle out of taking responsibility for this lurid mess like you jealously perceive the smarter surrounding villages are able to do. Small town, indeed.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 9:39 PM

Berwyn, with a population of 56,800 (in 2012) four times the size of Forest Park, had half as many civil lawsuits between 2002 and 2012. Only two were settled. Berwyn won the others or the case was voluntarily dismissed. Cicero has 84,000 people, but fewer lawsuits. Melrose Park has 25,500 people.---- Forest Park is in a class by itself. A very low class when it comes to civil rights lawsuits. Calderone should be ashamed, but he's incapable of that.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 9:27 PM

those towns are MUCH larger. so do we have loser lawyers or a horribly weak PD? i don't recall the village ever commenting on this chronic situation, which seemed to have calmed down the past 5 or so years. our insurance premiums must be astronomical!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 8:57 PM

The only nearby towns that even come close to the number of federal suits settled or lost are Cicero, Berwyn, and Melrose Park. And they're all bigger than Forest Park yet haven't had as many. Oak Park borders Austin, lots of challenges, but haven't lost or settled a suit in years and are seldom sued. Same with Elmwood Park, River Forest. By the way, Forest Park settled a lawsuit with a guy named Lust who also sued Oak Park twice. He dropped the suits. FO paid out.

don't know  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 8:38 PM

This seems like too many law suits and a lot of money, but is it exceptional compared to neighboring towns? I just don't have any idea what is typical. One would need to know how much those neighboring towns have paid out in settlements or awards of this kind and how big the police forces are in the neighboring towns.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 7:49 PM

2009 Johnson v. Becker et al, settled; 2010 Schmidt v. Vlg of FP, et al, $400,000; Marani et al v. Village of Forest Park et al, $50,000. --- And now federal lawsuit loss #16, Doe v Lee. That's around $1.5 million in settlements, not including legal costs. Each time the village says it will fight the charges, and each time they either fold or lose outright. And each time they settle, they blather the same nonsense about denying any wrong doing, but refuse to say why, if that's so, they settled.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 7:44 PM

2000 Shimkus v Lee, et al, settled; Jackson v FP Vlg, et al, settled; 2002 Ofc.Caines, et al v FPPD, et al; $175,000; 2004 Sidney Hooks v. Vlg F.P./Mike Murphy, $50,000; 2005 Harder v Vlg FP, $350,000; 2006 Steinbach v. Does, $95,000; Santana v Cody, Grimes, Keeling, $107,000; 2007 Smith v Vlg FP et al; $75,000; Sanders v. Unknown Officers et al, $50,000; Jeams Potts v Vlg F.P., Keeling, DeFors, $9,000;-2008 Davis v Biel et al, $100,000; Moore et al v Moore et al v. Murphy et al, $55,000 - MORE-

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