Lopinot resets status conference in officer's case against East St. Louis

By Christina Stueve | Jul 23, 2012


St. Clair County Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot on July 16 reset a status conference to Oct. 15 in a former police officer's case against the City of East St. Louis.

Johnny Scruggs filed suit Dec. 8, 2011 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, saying he signed a contract with the city in February 2011, agreeing to accept a total of $175,000 in exchange for a release of all claims against the city. The money, to be paid in several installments, was contingent upon Scruggs' resignation from the police department, according to his complaint.

Scruggs says he is still owed nearly $60,000 allegedly promised to him.

Status conferences were also held June 25, April 30 and March 5.

The City of East St. Louis filed a motion to dismiss Jan. 12, arguing that the plaintiff failed to attach a copy of the alleged contract or recite the contract in its entirety within the complaint itself.

The city's motion quoted state law, "[I]f a claim is founded upon a written instrument, a copy thereof ...must be attached to the pleading as an exhibit or recited therein."

"Pursuant to state law, it is proper for a court to dismiss a complaint based on certain defects or defenses in the event that the claim asserted against the Defendant is barred by other affirmative matters avoiding the legal affect or defeating the claim," the city argues.

"Clearly, pursuant to Illinois Civil Procedure, Plaintiff is required to attach a copy of the written instrument upon which its breach of contract claim is based."

Attorney Michael Wagner of Hinshaw & Culbertson represents East St. Louis.

Attorney B. Jay Dowling of Fairview Heights is representing Scruggs.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-672

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