An odd turn in a case of unlikely participants came when the defendant--a victims' rights advocate accused of intimidation--refuted a published report that the lawsuit has settled out of court.
Doug Wojcieszak, spokesperson for Edwardsville-based Victims and Families United, said he did not settle a lawsuit brought by Dwight Kay, a former fund-raiser for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier. Kay resides in Edwardsville.
An article in the Belleville News-Democrat Thursday stated that a confidential settlement had been reached in the suit in which Kay claimed Wojcieszak and his business partner Tom Denton, former Pinckneyville police chief, attempted to intimidate him because of his campaign role.
Kay claimed that the pair questioned his ex-wife at her home in the presence of their frightened daughter.
Kay's attorney, Stephen McGlynn of Belleville, said an agreement had been reached with Wojcieszak's attorney, Joe Brown, of the Edwardsville firm, Lucco & Brown.
"The only thing I will say on the record is that a settlement has been reached and the terms are confidential," McGlynn said.
But whether an agreement has actually been reached remains in doubt.
Wojcieszak, whose organization aligns itself with trial attorneys in its criticism of placing limits on lawsuits, said the Belleville newspaper article was "incorrect."
"We have not agreed to it and have not signed anything," Wojcieszak said. "We have no intention of settling. I strenuously object to any settlement."
Wojcieszak said the suit was frivolous and that McGlynn "abused the political and legal process" when he filed it.
Kay could not be reached for comment. A message left at Brown's office was not returned at press time.
In a costly, contentious battle over tort reform, Karmeier--supported by forces in favor of reform--defeated rival Gordon E. Maag--whose funding was largely at the expense of trial attorneys against limiting lawsuits--for Illinois Supreme Court on Nov. 2.
Wojcieszak has denied that he worked on behalf of Maag's campaign.
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