CHICAGO | An attorney for a former Lynwood police officer trying to regain his job said Thursday the village’s Police and Fire Board should be held in contempt of court for refusing to comply with court orders related to the case.
“This board was supposed to do something in response to the court’s ruling on May 22, and they haven’t done it yet,” said Christopher Cooper, an attorney appointed by the Fraternal Order of Police to represent Joseph Marigliano, the Lynwood officer trying to regain his job.
“There’s no good excuse,” Cooper said. “I think they should be held in contempt.”
Cook County Judge Mary Mikva ruled May 22 the Police Board overstepped its bounds last year when it dismissed Marigliano for a December 2012 incident when a criminal suspect drove off in his squad car following a police chase.
Mikva said then and reiterated at Thursday's court hearing she thinks a 30-day suspension for Marigliano would have been an appropriate punishment.
Mikva said she does not have the authority to impose a punishment, but said she expected the Police Board would alter its actions to comply with her ruling.
Instead, the Police Board voted again to dismiss Marigliano, and attorneys for the village insist they have no intention of rehiring him because they plan to appeal Mikva’s rulings to the Illinois appellate court.
Attorney Tim Lapp, who advised the Police Board through the Marigliano hearings, said he was not concerned the board would be found in contempt of court.
“We’re going through a process, and the judge’s rulings are a part of the process,” Lapp said. “This will all be resolved when the case is over.”
Mikva said her refusal to issue a stay of her ruling led her to expect Marigliano would be restored to the police payroll while an appellate court process was taking place.
As for the contempt of court suggestion, Mikva did not make any decision Thursday. Both Cooper and Lapp offered up copies of court rulings they believe set precedent for their side, and Mikva said she wants time to read the rulings and think about how they would impact this case.
Both sides are scheduled to appear on June 12 at the Daley Center.
As for the appeal, Lapp said attorneys for the Police Board have yet to file it. They have within 30 days of Mikva’s May 22 court ruling to do so. Lapp said it likely would be sometime this summer before an appellate panel would hear arguments in the case.