Member James Suh is suing Ald. James Gardiner Says Alderman Abused Power And Used Employees To Target Him – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – Contested Northwest Side Ald. James Gardiner, 45, faced another legal hurdle on Tuesday when he was sued by a voter who claims the city council abused his power and office to target him.

As reported by CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov, the city council continues to follow text messages from Gardiner to an employee. The messages are about the voter James Suh.

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Gardiner asks the employee in the SMS to dig up Suh’s old arrest documents. “Maybe this will leak,” writes Gardiner.

All of this after Suh staged an anti-Gardiner protest in 2019.

Now Suh is suing Gardiner over the lyrics – and the reason Suh believes Gardiner sent them.

“This is something that needs to be done,” said Suh.

Suh believes the reason is in retaliation for criticizing the first-term councilor.

“It’s not about being a boar or being rude. In particular, it is about the councilor using government resources – government employees – to take revenge against my client for his constitutionally protected behavior, ”said attorney Scott Kane, who represents Suh.

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Suh’s lawsuit comes two months after the city’s Ethics Council found a likely reason that Gardiner violated the city’s code of ethics in Suh’s and another case.

Gardiner apologized to the city council in September, but he never apologized to Suh – who said it was not enough for the ethics committee to investigate. Suh and his lawyer said the civil lawsuit was principled.

“I would certainly hope that it really serves as a warning to every elected official that you cannot use your authority and government resources to try to punish people for speaking up,” Suh ​​said.

Suh said he expected retaliation from Gardiner’s supporters for filing the lawsuit. But he’s prepared.

“I think this is necessary at this point,” he said.

Kozlov called Gardiner’s office and asked for comment or just the name of his lawyer. In her recent conversations with Gardiner, Kozlov was shut down – when she visited his office in the past, people pulled the blinds.

It was no different this time.

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Incidentally, this is at least the third ongoing process in which Ald. Gardiner is named as the defendant.

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