Attorney General Says Plaintiffs Can’t Back Out of Settlement Agreement in Duckworth Suit | NBC Chicago
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Attorney General Says Plaintiffs Can’t Back Out of Settlement Agreement in Duckworth Suit

The Illinois Attorney General’s office confirmed Thursday that the plaintiffs in a workplace retaliation lawsuit against Rep. Tammy Duckworth can’t refuse their settlement offer and that the case isn't going to trial.

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    The Illinois Attorney General’s office confirmed Thursday that the plaintiffs in a workplace retaliation lawsuit against Rep. Tammy Duckworth can’t refuse their settlement offer and that the case isn't going to trial.

    The AG’s office denied reports that the settlement was rejected and Duckworth was headed to trial.

    "We’ve obviously seen the stories, but that doesn’t change that we have a settlement agreement,” Attorney General’s office communications Director Maura Possley told Ward Room.

    The 8-year-old lawsuit, which alleged ethics violations and workplace retaliation, was settled last month.

    The plaintiffs, Denise Goins and Christine Butler, were reportedly offended by the Duckworth campaign’s response to the settlement and moved to reject the offer within an hour of leaving the courthouse, the Daily Herald reports.

    “We worked with the judge on June 24 and reached a final settlement,” Possley said. “It’s typical practice that after finalizing a settlement that the parties sign our standard form. If a plaintiff declines to sign the form, that does not change whether the agreement is final."

    As a result, Possley told Ward Room that there is no scheduled trial.

    But, according to the Union County Clerk’s office, the case is still on the docket because a settlement order to remove it hasn't been received. Possley claimed the case is simply still on the docket from May.

    “There is really nothing clear about what is going on with this case,” an unnamed GOP insider told Ward Room. “Duckworth continues to attack the whistleblowers, the whistleblowers want to reject the initial settlement offer and that Attorney General’s office continues to disseminate conflicting and incomplete information. The best approach right now for all parties involved is to let the legal process play out."

    Duckworth is locked in one of the nation’s most highly-contested Senate with incumbent Republican Mark Kirk. The congresswoman is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention Thursday Night.

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