Man Exonerated After 18 Years in Prison Sues Rauner For Cash Owed Due to Budget Crisis

A man who served 18 years in prison before being exonerated is suing the state’s governor, comptroller and treasurer for money he is owed for his wrongful incarceration.

Teshome Campbell filed the lawsuit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court against Gov. Bruce Rauner, Comptroller Susan Mendoza and Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

Campbell seeks to compel the state to pay him the $220,732 he is owed in a prior judgement against the state, plus interest and the costs of bringing the suit to court.

Campbell received his certificate of innocence Sept. 30, 2016 after a court found he was “innocent for all offenses for which he was incarcerated,” according to the suit. He was awarded $220,732 in a judgement against the state.

As of Thursday, Campbell is still waiting for the money to be paid.

On June 20, Campbell was told by the Illinois Court of Claims that they were not able to move forward with the payment due to a failure by the state to pass a budget and appropriate the amount owed to Campbell, according to a statement from his attorneys at the Chicago-based Roth Fioretti LLC.

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A spokeswoman for Gov. Rauner declined to comment on the suit Thursday.

“Inaction in Springfield can never justify the stolen years of wonderful life that have been taken away from Mr. Campbell and all the other individuals who have been exonerated and are owed money lawfully from the state,” attorney Bob Fioretti said the statement. “The promises that were made must not be forgotten. It is time for action now.”

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