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Former probationary officer files suit against Villa Park, village employees

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 4:11 p.m. CDT

VILLA PARK — Daniel Messina, a former probationary officer with the Villa Park Police Department, filed a lawsuit Jan. 17 against the Village of Villa Park, several village employees and two village trustees on counts related to his termination last year.

The defendants listed in the lawsuit include the Village of Villa Park; Rich Keehner, village manager; Robert Budig, deputy police chief; Dan McCann, police sergeant; and village trustees John Davis and Robert Taglia.

According to the filing, Messina began working with the police department as a probationary officer in November 2010, and on Jan. 19, 2012 he was terminated from his position during a meeting with Budig.

In December 2011, Messina arrested a woman in relation to a theft of gasoline incident that happened in town, but was directed to release the woman without charges.

According to the lawsuit, Budig told Messina in their meeting he had not met department standards, failed to check the license plate of a subject he arrested and dragged the woman down six stairs while making the arrest. Messina alleges these statements are false.

The filing claims Budig repeated these statements to other village employees and community members, that he knew they were false and that he received the information from McCann, who also knew the it was false.

The lawsuit filed by Messina and his attorney is suing for deprivation of due process: property interest and liberty interest, defamation, tortious interference, intentional infliction of emotional distress, conspiracy, respondeat superior and indemnification and policy claim.

Last January, a federal lawsuit was brought against Messina by the victim of the December 2011 arrest incident.

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