Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Attorney Files Motion to Compel Daley to Testify

Former mayor hasn't yet testified about police torture, prompting attorney to file motion with federal judge to force Daley to do so

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What if anything did former Mayor Richard Daley know about police torture? Attorney Flint Taylor says he's tired of waiting for Daley agree to be deposed.

What did he know and when did he know?

Those are the questions attorney Flint Taylor says he wants to ask former Mayor Richard Daley about police torture, but the ex-mayor isn’t talking. Taylor is asking a federal judge to force or "compel" Daley to do so.

"It’s time to take the gloves off and ask the judge to do what the city should be doing," Taylor said.

Taylor, of the People’s Law Office, represents Michael Tillman, who spent 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Tillman said Chicago police officers working under the command of Jon Burge tortured him into confessing to a murder of a woman who lived in his building.

Tillman is suing the city, and last summer Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled former Mayor Daley could be listed as a defendant.

"That means he’s subject to a deposition just like any other defendant," Taylor said in an interview.

Daley, who has denied any involvement in torture of cover-up, was supposed to be deposed on September 8, 2011.

But Taylor says for seven months Daley and his attorneys have refused to cooperate.

"They have refused to meet. They have refused to discuss it," he said.

The city's law department said Daley is cooperating but said the deposition was interrupted by the death of Maggie Daley. Tuesday's motion contradicts that, arguing that in the months since Mrs. Daley's death, there has been no substantive communication from the mayor or his attorneys and there remains no date for him to be deposed.

Burge, who is in prison for perjury and obstruction of justice, has already been deposed and asserted his Fifth Amendment rights.

Taylor is also asking that Daley’s former Chief of Staff, Shelia O’Grady be deposed as well as former Corporation Counsel Kelly Welsh and top political aides Frank Kruesi and Tim Degnan.

More than 100 torture complaints against a small group of Chicago police officers date back to the 1970s. And to date, according to Taylor, the city has paid approximately $15 million in legal fees to defend Burge and the city and another $22 million in settlements.

In an August 2011 letter, Daley’s attorney’s argued deposing Daley is nothing more than a publicity stunt by Taylor.

"If this were a defendant by the name of John Doe," Taylor said, "I would be going after him just as aggressively as I am Mayor Daley."

Related Topics Richard Daley, Jon Burge
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