Motions in Saline Township suits moved to May 4

Amelia Flood Apr. 15, 2010, 6:13am

A hearing on a move to consolidate five cases against a former Saline Township supervisor and the township over his alleged inappropriate sexual overtures to women seeking public aid has been moved.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth had been set to hear a move to consolidate the cases and moves to dismiss several complaints Thursday.

That hearing was moved off to May 4, likely at 10 a.m.

Five women are suing Alvin Steiner and Saline Township for misconduct and battery claims.

They allege that Steiner groped them, made sexual advances and threatened them when they came seeking utility and public aid from Saline Township.

The suits seek damages of at least $50,000 and other damages.

Steiner and Saline Township deny the charges.

Both filed motions to dismiss several of the claims in recent weeks. Both Steiner and the township claim immunity from the claims on the Illinois Tort Immunity Act.

Steiner claims that he is protected from the suits because he was acting in an official capacity. He also denies the allegations.

Saline Township claims that it is not responsible for Steiner's individual actions and that it is protected as a township.

Thursday's hearing had been set to begin at 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, several plaintiffs, including the woman who brought the first suit, Elizabeth Watkins, are asking for leave to amend their complaints against the two defendants.

Saline moved to consolidate the five suits April 6.

Ruth oversees the bulk of the five lawsuits.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder currently presides over the most recently filed suit.

The plaintiffs are, in order of filing, Elizabeth Watkins, Jamie Miener, Melanie Hedlund, Laura Barry and Ailie Ritchie.

The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas and Peter Maag.
Steiner is represented by Mark Weinheimer.

The township is represented by William Knapp, Jeff O'Kelley, Christopher Swenson and Lori Vanderlaan.

The Saline Township cases are Madison case number 10-L-31, 10-L-145, 10-L-178, 10-L-219, and 10-L-309.

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