Settlement conference continued in former Madison County employee's defamation suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Sep 5, 2018

Magistrate Judge Reona Daly rescheduled a settlement conference in a former Madison County employee’s discrimination suit against Madison County and Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer.

Daly cancelled the Sept. 6 settlement conference and rescheduled it for Sept. 27 at 9:15 a.m. via telephone after all parties in the case filed a motion to continue on Aug. 24.

The case had been set for the earlier conference while Meyer was in search of new counsel.

Attorney Steve Maassen of Rynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion in Edwardsville entered his appearance for Meyer on Aug. 15 and requested all discovery exchanged in order to prepare for depositions prior to a conference. David Schott of Rynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion also entered his appearance on behalf of Meyer on Aug. 22.


“Counsel for Meyer is in the process of reviewing all of the written discovery in order to prepare for depositions, and the parties have agreed to take both plaintiff’s and defendant Meyer’s deposition prior to the settlement conference,” the motion stated.

Meyer had been represented by John Gilbert and Christi Swick of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard in St. Louis. They withdrew from Meyer’s defense in June, citing a conflict of interest. However, they are still listed as counsel for Madison County in the case.

Jackie Barlow filed the 11-count suit May 12, 2017, alleging her constitutional right to free speech in the workplace had been violated. The suit was later removed to federal court on Aug. 8, 2017.

According to her complaint, Barlow alleges that during her employment she became aware of illegal activities that Meyer was participating in, allegedly including illegal drug use, driving while intoxicated and the use of government property for her election campaign.

“Barlow was told by Meyer about Meyer’s illegal drug use while Meyer was her supervisor in violation of law,” the suit states.

Barlow claims her discharge from employment “arose under circumstances that seriously damage her reputation and her ability to obtain other employment.”

“False and stigmatizing statements were made in connection with the employee’s discharge in public, without a meaningful opportunity for Barlow to clear her name,” the suit states.

Barlow also alleges she was not provided an opportunity to dispute the reasons for her termination and was denied equal protection as an employee.

Barlow is represented by Michael Brunton of Brunton Law Offices PC in Collinsville.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-847

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Organizations in this Story

Brunton Law Office PC Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion LLC Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard PC U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

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