McHenry County Settles a Case against the Sheriff’s Department

Another case against the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department which was before Rockford Judge Frederick Kapala has come to my attention.

It was filed by Harvard resident Edward Bustos, “born in Mexico but came to the United States legally and is a United States citizen who served in the United States Military,” against Sheriff Keith Nygren and Deputies Neil Pagett, Jason Grochowski and Scott Loyd.

This is how one of Bustos’ attorney Lawrence V. Jackowiak lays out the case on August 3, 2010:

“On or about November 9, 2008, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Plaintiff was stopped by McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Falb for an alleged headlight violation.

“Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, his Texas driver’s license was revoked because of speeding tickets he received in Illinois.

“Plaintiff had a Texas driver’s license because that is where he lived after he was honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States.

“Because his license was revoked, Plaintiff was arrested.

“Deputy Falb told Plaintiff that he would be processed at the McHenry County Jail for the revoked license and would be released within an hour.

“Plaintiff’s wife, who was in the car with Plaintiff, was allowed to drive the car home.

“Deputy Falb transported Plaintiff to the McHenry County Jail.

“At approximately 8:00 p.m., Plaintiff was received by Defendants PAGETT, GROCHOWSKI and LOYD.

“During the booking process, Plaintiff was asked questions about his immigration status.

“Plaintiff explained that he was born in Mexico but was a United States citizen.

“For that reason, Plaintiff was not released. Defendant-Officers PAGETT, GROCHOWSKI, LOYD held Plaintiff based on their false, unreasonable and baseless belief that Plaintiff was an “illegal immigrant.””Plaintiff had the $100.00 required to bond out for the traffic tickets, but Defendant-Officers PAGETT, GROCHOWSKI, LOYD would not allow Plaintiff to bond out or be released.

The paperwork dismissing Edward Bustos' case against the Sheriff's Department on October 20, 2011. Click to enlarge.

“Defendant-Officers PAGETT, GROCHOWSKI, LOYD acted willfully and wantonly, maliciously, and with a conscious disregard and deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s rights.

“As a direct and proximate result of the acts described above, Plaintiff suffered damages including loss of physical liberty, emotional distress and pecuniary damages including lost wages.”

The false arrest count points out, “The arrest of Plaintiff without any legal justification or probable cause violated his Fourth Amendment right, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, to be free from
unreasonable seizures.”

The “Egregious Abuse of Power” count says, “Defendant-Officers PAGETT, GROCHOWSKI, LOYD arrested Plaintiff based on their false, unreasonable and baseless belief that Plaintiff was an ‘illegal immigrant.'”

The “Monell Claim against KEITH NYGREN” says, “At all relevant times, the McHenry County Sheriff had a police [policy?] of detaining persons for immigration reason who they thought were not United States citizens and/or were not born in the United States.”

This May, 2010, case, was settled in October, 2011.

What makes me think it has been resolved?

First the Federal Court record says so.

Plus the following $15,000 check was made out the Bustos and the law firm of Meyer & Kiss.

$15,000 check written to Edward Bustos, plus the law firm of Meyer & Kiss dated October 4, 2011.

The check was cut a year and five months after the case was civil rights filed in Federal Court.

Neither the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office nor the law firm of Meyer 7 Kiss would provide further details.


McHenry County Settles a Case against the Sheriff’s Department — 5 Comments

  1. The three at fault were jailers, correctional officers; not deputies as you wrongly titled them. Note the complain describes them as OFFICERS.

    The arrest by Deputy Falb was 100% correct and she was correct for taking him to jail as as prescribed by Illinois law.

    A common practice is for people that have their Driver’s License suspended and then move to another state.

    The traffic charge is actually No Valid Driver’s License since Illinois does not enforce suspensions from another state, but the Driver’s License is not valid so therefore they are Unlicensed.

    At that point he should have been allowed to post bond.

    The jailers did not act properly.

    What suspicion did they have?

    I’d like to see more of the evidence by it appears very thin!

    By failing to allow him to bond mu opinion is that they DID violate his rights as a lawful resident citizen.

    These three just cost the county $15K by a stupid act.

  2. This innocent guy spent a couple of nights in the jail.

    Bustos’s attorney should be hit with a malpractice claim for settling for so little.

    Bravo for the State’s Attorney for their damage control.

  3. Doesn’t insurance cover the firs $250,000 on the payouts???

    This was probably racial profiling.

    That is how it is done.

    She just found out his name by running the plate.

    My neighbor moved and her notice to have the emisions test went to her old address and she never got it.

    Got pulled over for a tail light being out and found out her license was revoked.

    This happens regularly.

    Better hope it does not get lost in the mail.

  4. Come on FYI you are trying to turn this into something it isn’t.

    The complaint stated it was 7:30 Pm on Nov 9th.

    This is well after darkness has fallen and headlights are required. How could she ( the deputy) tell if it was a hispanic driver.

    Do the headlights blink some code indicating Mexican?

    Secretary of State notices are not US mail forwarded.

    I’m sure the same for Texas.

    He was suspended and thats not profiling.

    Thatvis why you always want to notify the SOS of a change of address.

    The jailers were wrong and leave it at that without the drama.

  5. The squad car has a computer that is at their finger tips.

    They punch in the plate and very quickly the name comes up.

    That is how the cop then saw the license was suspended.

    They see a Latino name and pull them over.

    Why was the car stopped to begin with??

    Did you miss the whole racial profiling report by the Trib?

    Sunday front page a while back.

    Your whole last comment is null and void.

    When you are stationed in Iraq a little difficult to notify that you moved.

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