UPDATED: District 113A Board Being Sued By School Board Candidates, Current Member
Two lawsuits were filed Friday in Cook County by the Center for Open Government at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law against former and current school board members.
By Amanda Luevano | December 17, 2010
Two lawsuits alleging concealment and financial mismanagement were filed Friday against former and current members of the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A.
Filed by the Center for Open Government at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, the lawsuits claim District 113A school board members "engaged or aided in illegal spending, and then took steps to conceal expenditures by draining funds legally appropriated for other purposes, all in violation of Illinois law," which allegedly resulted in the loss of $12 million in taxpayer money, the complaint said.
One lawsuit was filed on behalf of current school board member Janet Hughes, while the other was filed on behalf of Lemont residents Laura Reigle, Louis Emery and Duane Bradley. Reigle, Emery and Bradley filed candidate petitions Monday morning for the four open District 113A Board of Education seats in the April 5 consolidated election.
Listed as defendants in the lawsuit are: Superintendent Tim Ricker; Assistant Superintendent Mary Gricus; former Business Manager Robert Beckwith; current Board President Lisa Wright; current Board Vice President Kevin Doherty; current Board Members John Wood and Sue Murphy; and former Board Members David Leahy, Gwen O'Malley and Al Albrecht.
Also listed as defendants are Lloyds Illinois Inc., an insurance company, and Knutte Associates, an accounting firm responsible for the district's financial audits from 2007 to 2010. According to the complaint, defendants also include "other persons whose names are not known." However, current Board Secretary Andreas Taylor and Board Member Karen Siston were not named in the suit.
Wright said in an e-mail Saturday morning that she and other board members have yet to be served the lawsuit.
"As this involves litigation—and we have not yet seen or been served the actual suit—no one from the district has or will have a comment," she said.
Reigle declined to comment, directing all questions to her attorney, Clint Krislov, of Krislov and Associates, and Terrance Norton, director of the Center for Open Government.