Thursday Associate Judge Kevin Costello ruled that McHenry County Recorder of Deeds Joe Tirio could learn who is responsible for the smear mailings made by Chicago’s Breaker Press during last spring’s Republican Primary Election.
Vicious hit pieces were not only aimed not only at Tirio’s campaign for County Clerk, but also against Franks’ County Board critics Michael Rein and Chuck Wheeler, plus District 6 County Board candidates Ersel Schuster and Orville Brettman.
Rein lost the General Election to Democrat Carlos Acosta. It is unknowable how the negative primary publicity affected the November results.
The Judge denied the motion to reconsider the decision he had previously ruled and granted what is called a rule 224 petition.
He ordered that within seven days for those sued to reveal
- the name and address of a particular person or persons who are the individual(s) who created the mailings and
- paid breaker press to print and mail it.
Breaker Press attorney Natalie Harris drafted Thursday’s court order.
Her first draft her client only providing the identity of the direct mail designer.
Prosnitz insisted that the identity of who paid for the defamatory piece also be provided.
A status hearing is set for December 11th to determine if the information supplied is adequate.
Depositions will only occur if necessary to learn the identity of the responsible parties.
In other words, if it’s not clear from the written disclosures within seven days who the responsible parties are, the Judge will be able to order further remedies.
Phil Possnitz is Tirio’s attorney.
Tirio will be sworn in as McHenry County Clerk on Monday.