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Suit against D209 oversight group fizzles

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Bill Dwyer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20/September/2013 at 3:26pm

Ron Anderson’s civil lawsuit against the State Board of Ed and the Financial Oversight Panel came in with a roar 13 months ago but exited without even a whimper last month.

Anderson contends the FOP reached its decision on a reduction of his salary, “solely based on race and/or political affiliation…”

“Defendants ISBE, the FOP, Popernik, Schilling and McCracken unlawfully rejected Anderson’s recommended salary because of his race,” Anderson alleged in a federal lawsuit filed in Aug. 2012.

 “Defendant FOP members and ISBE retaliated against Plaintiff Anderson because of his political association with Proviso Board of Education members, but specifically because of his relationship with Board President Welch.”

“The conduct of Defendants violated Anderson’s right to free association as provided by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

The FOP also voted to eliminate the position of Night Foreman for Anderson’s building only, which eliminated over $80,000.00 in District 209’s budget.

Moreover, Anderson complained, the FOP “reduced the salary for Anderson’s position while requiring him to perform a litany of additional tasks that the similarly situated Caucasian Building Managers were not required to do.”

Even worse, Anderson contends, the FOP took their actions “with malice or reckless indifference to his civil rights, thereby entitling Anderson to punitive damages against Defendants.”

Anderson, a close friend of Chris Welch and his brother Billy Welch, complained of suffering “great mental anguish, humiliation, degradation, physical and emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience” at the hands of the FOP after the FOP cut his salary from $106,000 to a mere $90,000 annually.

Anderson suggested cash “in an excess of $75,000.00” might sooth his anguish and ease his humiliation and otherwise right the wrongs perpetrated against him.

He secured the services of attorney Keenan J. Saulter
in Aug. 2012.

But it didn’t go well. On May 28, Saulter wrote, “It has become apparent that (Anderson) and (Saulter) have serious differences as it relates (sic) very critical aspects of the (lawsuit) that prevent (Anderson’s) counsel from representing (him).”

“(Anderson) is aware of his counsel’s request to withdraw as counsel and has represented that he is in the process of engaging another attorney.”

On June 27, Holderman granted Saulter’s motion to withdraw and set a status hearing for July 9 at 9:00 a.m.

“Plaintiff Ronald Anderson or counsel of record for Ronald Anderson must be present at the next status hearing date,” the judge ordered.

Any anguish and humiliation Anderson might still be suffering is apparently being suffered in silence. Holderman held status hearings on July 9 and July 23, but neither Anderson or any attorney representing him showed up in furtherance of his quest for justice.

On Aug. 1, Holderman held a third status hearing and once again, no Anderson.

“Plaintiff fails to appear. Defendants' oral motion for sanctions is taken under advisement. Defendants' motion to dismiss is taken under advisement,” Holderman wrote.

On Aug. 2, Holderman wrote, “Plaintiff Ronald Anderson has failed to appear at several status hearings at which the court ordered that he or counsel representing him be present. Accordingly, the court believes that Anderson may have abandoned this litigation…. the court orders Anderson to respond to the defendants' motion to dismiss by 8/16/13. If Anderson does not respond by 8/16/13, the court will conclude that he has abandoned this litigation and his complaint will be dismissed without prejudice.

Anderson didn’t respond, and on Aug. 19, Holderman ruled. “On 8/2/13, the court warned plaintiff Ronald Anderson that the court would assume that he had abandoned this action and would dismiss his claims if he did not respond to the defendants' motion to dismiss by 8/16/13. [41] Anderson has not responded as of 8/19/13. Accordingly, Anderson's claims are all dismissed without prejudice. Civil Case Terminated.” 

Facts are a bitch and the truth most hurts the liars
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