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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33752
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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On April 23rd at 5:30 PM the local chief of police and a patrolman

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On April 23rd at 5:30 PM the local chief of police and a patrolman came to my home. The chief handed me a paper that had one sentence on it - basically saying I hereby resign my position on the Hillsboro City Council and told me I was to sign it - I refused. (I had served two years as city finance commissioner saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars). They then demanded that I turn over my city to city hall - I did turn it over reluctantly. Then I was told that if I appeared at the city council meeting that evening, I would be escorted out. When I asked them what this was all about - they admitted it was related to an interview I had earlier in the day with two FBI agents. They interviewed me in the mayor's office, did not mention any charges, nor did they even mention my right to have an attorney present. To this day, I have no idea what they are really looking for. On May 10th, I had a second interview with one of the original agents and an agent of the Secret Service. The SS agent said that while they had no plans of arresting me he did read me my rights. I responded to all of his questions he seemed satisfied that I had not done anything for which he would be pursuing charges. The FBI agent had little to say during this interview. As it concluded, I asked her if there was anything else - she replied that she had nothing further.
My concern is that I was forced to resign from the city council, then asked to resign my role as volunteer chairman (for 8.5 years) of the Montgomery County Cancer Association, and put on administrative leave from a paid position as a part-time supply pastor for a area church parish. Last Monday evening I received a phone call from the directing pastor of the parish indicating that a decision had been reached to end my leave status as of June 10th. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that at no point was I afforded due process, I have no proof of how this all started, I have never been told of any charges that might even be pending, and with the loss of the position on the council and the part-time supply pastor positions, I will encounter significant financial loss. It is my opinion that my civil rights have been violated by the City of Hillsboro, the Hillsboro Police Dept, and perhaps even the FBI. Do I have a case?

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

I don't see how the Chief of Police was at all within his rights to ask you to resign.

JD 1992 :

However, if you resigned voluntarily it would be extremely hard to make a case against them. If you hadn't resigned and they had escorted you out of the meeting you would have had a much stronger claim.

JD 1992 :

There is no case against the FBI based on the facts as you've presented them since they were just questioning you and your facts don't indicate that at any time you asked to leave and they refused to allow you to do so.

JD 1992 :

You might still have a case against the police department for something along the lines of "official oppression" which is essentially when they misuse their power.

JD 1992 :

The real problem you have is that most attorneys will not be willing to take the case on a % basis and so you will have to pay them up front and the damages you can recover are speculative.

Customer:

Would it change the situation if the police chief was acting under the direction of either the mayor or city attorney when did what I have described?

JD 1992 :

It would extend the official oppression out to them. You would have an argument that you were "forced to resign" but the problem is your facts as you've given them here really don't support the "force".

JD 1992 :

I'm not saying it is an impossible case, just a difficult one.

Customer:

Since this is a small community (approx. 5000) and I being a 77 year old did not want to make a scene at what is always a very short and non-confrontational meeting. If it were possible to determine the origin of the actions of the police chief and who typed the one page resignation letter her present. Could the mayor, police chief, and city attorney be disposed and asked questions under oath regarding this action?

JD 1992 :

You would have to file a lawsuit but if you did then they could be deposed.

JD 1992 :

The questions you could ask the City Attorney would be limited.

Customer:

What would be a reasonable estimate of the legal fees involved in such a proceeding? Are there qualified attorneys for such a case in central Illinois?

JD 1992 :

You probably want to start out looking for an attorney who does civil rights law. We're not allowed to give specific referrals but you can go to www.lawyers.com and likely find one in your area. If they advertise as doing civil rights law it is likely they are qualified because it is such a rare case that it doesn't pay to advertise for it unless you do a reasonable amount of it.

JD 1992 :

A guess as to initial retainer would be $7500-$10k.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX be back in touch at a later time.

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