For the second time in less than two years, the town of Cicero is shelling out big bucks to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Town President Larry Dominick.
Dominick squirmed during a deposition several years ago, denying he has ever sexually harassed a female town employee, yet, FOX 32 has learned the town of Cicero has just agreed to pay $675,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former female cop.
Because of a confidentiality clause in the agreement, former Cicero cop Janidet Lujano can no longer talk on camera, but when she first filed the lawsuit four years ago, Lujano told FOX 32 News Dominick groped her and made sexual suggestions on multiple occasions.
"He made me feel uncomfortable, but I didn't know what to do," Lujano said. "He even got up from his chair and placed his hands inside my vest to feel my breast."
"He says ‘why don't you and your mom, all three of us, why don't we have a threesome?'" she continues.
This is not the first time Cicero has written big checks for Dominick's alleged bad behavior. Two years ago, Cicero agreed to pay former Animal Welfare Director Sharon Starzcyk half a million dollars to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit.
"Larry Dominick is pound for pound the most corrupt politician in America," says Juan Ochoa, who ran against Dominick for Cicero town president earlier this year.
Ochoa was thoroughly crushed he didn't win. He says Cicero taxpayers can't afford to keep paying off huge settlements and the lawyers' fees to fight them.
"This is coming right out of people's pockets," Ochoa says. "I just don't understand it. Nowhere in America would someone like Larry Dominick exist."
Nowhere except, perhaps, San Diego and its embattled mayor, Bob Filner. Ten women have claimed Filner acted in a sexually inappropriate manner, forcing him to seek treatment to try to salvage his political career. But here's the difference: the San Diego City Council has refused to defend Filner or pay his legal fees, saying it's on him.
"They're actually holding that mayor accountable for his own personal behavior," says John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute. "The outrage in Cicero is that the taxpayers are being held accountable for Dominick's egregious behavior and these very expensive settlements."
Despite that big check it's handing to Lujano, lawyers for Cicero say in the settlement the town does not admit any wrongdoing and simply wants to avoid protracted and expensive litigation.
A town spokesman says the money will be paid for by insurance--not tax dollars--but of course, tax dollars are certainly paying for that insurance policy which may get a lot more expensive.
KDFW FOX 4
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