ST. CHARLES, IL (STMW) — Kane County Coroner Chuck West urinated on his chief deputy’s chair and repeatedly harassed her after learning she tipped police that he allegedly let employees keep a television taken from a dead man’s home, a lawsuit contends.
Chief Deputy Loren Carrera in her suit alleged West frequently dozed in her office, including at least once with his dog, while also excluding her from office decisions and making threatening remarks to her.
Those action all came after West was charged in May with official misconduct stemming from a 2007 incident in which two of West’s employees took a TV set from the home of a dead Carpentersville man, the suit contends.
West, a Republican serving his third term in office, has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges, which could send him to prison for up to five years.
Through his attorney, Gary Johnson, West declined Thursday to comment on the lawsuit.
Carrera couldn’t be reached for comment.
She is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 in the suit, which also names deputy coroners Eric West, Chuck West’s son, and Lisa Gilbert.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Kane County claims all three defendants intentionally caused her emotional distress because of her actions in reporting the alleged misconduct.
But the bulk of the suit focuses on alleged actions by Chuck West that show he “has deliberately retaliated against the plaintiff for her having reported the illegal action regarding the television set.”
Carrera said in the suit that in May 2007 she saw Eric West and Gilbert take the TV from a coroner’s vehicle and carry it to Gilbert’s personal car.
Neither has been charged criminally.
Carrera said in the suit she went to Kane County sheriff’s police in 2008 to disclose what she had seen, then talked to investigators from the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.
After Chuck West was indicted, he allegedly urinated on Carrera’s office chair in October, and also repeatedly came into her office to doze on the floor while she worked, the suit contends.
He also cut her out of the office’s chain of command and instead directed duty calls to his son and Gilbert, the suit said.
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