An attorney representing the village in a lawsuit filed by a former mayoral candidate said there has been no talk of settling the dispute and heading off a trial.
Claudia Diaz, an attorney with Litchfield Cavo LLP, said the suit filed by former commissioner Theresa Steinbach is in the “discovery period” as both sides attempt to gather evidence to support their claims. In an August 2006 complaint, Steinbach alleged that three conspirators violated her privacy rights by hacking into her village-maintained e-mail account and forwarded messages without her consent. For the last several months no major breakthroughs in the case have occurred; only a series of brief status hearings.
“The case is still pending,” Diaz said. “The parties are not discussing settlements at all.”
Steinbach did not return several phone calls seeking comment. Her attorney Charles Mudd Jr. also did not respond to requests for an interview.
Amended versions of her original complaint have named Craig Lundt, the village’s IT specialist, as one of the alleged hackers. The remaining defendants, aside from the municipality, are identified numerically as John Doe 2 and 3.
At the time of her original filing, Steinbach was serving a four-year term as an elected member of the council. She has requested a jury trial and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
During a recent budgeting workshop held by the village council, officials pointed to Steinbach’s lawsuit as a contributing factor in spiking insurance costs. According to preliminary budget figures discussed at a July 2 workshop, taxpayers will be responsible for a 20 percent jump in the municipality’s liability insurance premiums. The council is expecting that bill to come in at $599,000 for fiscal year 2008.