In a case fraught with multiple layers of anger and accusations, attorneys for a man shot by Chicago police in 2015, say they have discovered still another instance of city lawyers hiding evidence.
Already, lawyers for Jaquise Evans have accused city attorneys of withholding past complaints against officer Richard Salvador, and failing to produce a video where Salvador was shown screaming and swearing at a suspect who was released without charges.
Those oversights earned a stern rebuke from Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, who yesterday gave the city one day to produce all evidence in a case which is to go to trial in less than two weeks.
“A procedure will be put in place in this case within 24 hours,” she said. “24 hours for there to be complete disclosure of everything!”
But late Thursday, Evans’ attorneys said they had discovered another surprise---a previously undisclosed lawsuit against the officer, Young vs. Salvador, filed less than two months before the shooting which provoked the current case.
Attorney Ronak Maisuria noted in a filing Thursday, that Evans said in a sworn deposition he had not been a defendant in any prior lawsuits. She added that City attorneys Scott Cohen and Matthew Hurd were present for that deposition, and that both also represented Salvador in the Young suit.
The Young case involved an accusation of false arrest, which Maisuria said the city settled for $40,000.
“Mr. Cohen and Mr. Hurd did absolutely nothing to correct the record,” she wrote. “They were clearly aware that Salvador perjured himself, and said nothing!”
The matter is expected to ignite fireworks at a previously scheduled hearing before Pallmeyer Friday morning.
“The City’s repeated violations of discovery rules in this case as well as other cases can lead to no other conclusion than abhorrent misconduct,” Maisuria said. “The Defendants, as well as their counsel in this case, have proven not only that they are willing to violate the rules, but that they consider it par for the course.”
The attorney charged that the failure of the city to reveal everything from the officer’s past has hindered his ability to prepare for trial, forcing instead the “drafting and filing brief after brief detailing each new discovery violation by the Defendants, with seemingly no end in sight.”
In a response filed Thursday night, Cohen replied, in essence, that he was unaware that he represented Salvador in the earlier lawsuit.
"The undersigned had no personal involvement in the case," he said. "The undersigned did not meet with Sergeant Salvador or any other Young defendant in the context of that case, engage in any discovery, or attend the settlement conference."
Cohen said he did not even realize Sgt. Salvador was one of his clients in the Young proceeding.
In her own motion, Maisuria accused the city law department of a culture to “win at all costs, with ethics cast aside with nary a concern.” She asked Pallmeyer to impose monetary sanctions.
“The City and its fine attorneys seem perfectly content to squander the hard-earned taxpayer dollars of its citizens, to pay any sanctions assessed against the City,” she said. “It seems beyond time to hit them where it hurts.”