CHICAGO (CBS) — A federal judge has granted Cicero and Town President Larry Dominick a new trial in a civil lawsuit.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the ruling comes six months after a jury sided with a former Cicero town employee who claimed Dominick fired him for political reasons, the Chicago Tribune reported.READ MORE: Private Insurance Now Covers At-Home COVID-19 Testing
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
Rojas claimed he was fired in 2006 because he is Hispanic and because he was no longer a Dominick political loyalist. His attorney, Dana Kurtz, told jurors that the firing, retaliation and betrayal almost destroyed Rojas and his family.
But U.S. District Judge James Holderman threw out the jury’s decision saying Kurtz “engaged in a pattern of misconduct” by trying to introduce inadmissible and prejudicial evidence tainting the jury’s verdict, the Tribune reported.READ MORE: Woman Struck and Killed While Entering Vehicle In West Garfield Park
Among those statements were that Rojas’ car was repossessed, and his house was foreclosed upon, because Dominick fired him, the Tribune reported. But it turned out that Rojas immediately got his car back, and he had the money on hand to pay his mortgage, the newspaper reported.
But in ordering a new trial, Judge Holderman also said there was evidence presented at the first trial that backed up Rojas’ claims of political retaliation, the Tribune reported.
A spokesman for the Town of Cicero told the newspaper Rojas was fired because he did personal work on town time.
Following the jury’s verdict in July, spokesman Ray Hanania also said Kurtz “turned the trial into a circus, putting all politics and all politicians on trial in an atmosphere poisoned by biased media reporting.”MORE NEWS: Crime Stoppers Offers $1,000 Reward For Information In Hit And Run In Austin
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.