Kane County Judge Kevin Busch ruled Wednesday afternoon in favor of a motion to dismiss the defmation suit filed by former District 6 Republican McHenry County Board candidates Orville Brettman and Ersel Schuster.
The two, subject to hard-htting negative mailings by allies of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, sued Franks and others identified as being involved with the so-called Illinois Integrity Fund for defamation.
The judge dismissed the case based on a motion by defense attorney Natalie Harris under the Citizen Participation Act, also known as the Strategic Lawsute Against Public Participation (SLAPP), a law ironically, passed early in Franks’ legislative career to protect re-zoning objectors in Richmond.
Judge Busch said he believed the uncertified Cook County Grand Jury testimony quoting Brettman, some of which were printed in campaign hit piecs were “truthful.”
And he explained that with regard to Schuster that her campaign was “inextricably tied to Mr. Brettman’s and they are political partnets.”
The comment on McHenry County Blog which Franks asked the Lakewood Village Police to pursue was found to be a “threat [that] could only be interpreted as a person offering to obtain a hit man.”
It was “appropriate to characterize it as a death threat…referencing Mr. Franks.”
The comment was posted by Schuster’s husband Ed.
After the dicision was rendered, Harris asked for permission to file a motion for legal and court fees.
Judge Busch said he would hear such a motion on Septembeer 19th at 1:30.