Senator Michael Hastings sues Frankfurt police over domestic violence report

State Senator Michael Hastings is suing the Frankfort Police Department and alleges that anonymous employees of the department or Will County released “a fabricated police report with false allegations” of domestic violence against him alleged by his wife, whom he said was going through a divorce.

A discovery motion, filed last month, seeks records from Frankfort and Will County regarding who could have accessed the June 20, 2021, police report in which his wife alleged Hastings verbally assaulted and assaulted her, several months earlier, beaten. in the Frankfurt house they shared.

In the discovery request, Hastings’ attorneys seek to find out who electronically viewed and printed copies of the report and to whom those copies may have been given. In a press release on Tuesday, Hastings alleges that copies of the report were released in an attempt to harm his re-election chances.

These recordings are necessary for Hastings, according to the filing, to pursue claims against those “who deliberately disseminated and published false statements of fact to third parties.”

Frankfort Village Administrator Robert Piscia said in an email on Tuesday that the village is aware of the lawsuit.

“The village takes these allegations seriously and says it responds to requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. The village will not provide any further comment on this dispute at this time.

Earlier this year, the Chicago Tribune was denied a copy of the report or any recording of 911 calls from the home the senator and his wife shared in the 20600 block of Holland Harbor Drive. The Tribune’s parent company also publishes the Daily Southtown.

Frankfurt police said an exemption in the state’s Freedom of Information Act allows it to withhold reports of incidents “in which there is no arrest and where disclosure would constitute a unwarranted invasion of privacy, such as minor domestic or neighborhood problems”.

In the discovery filing, Hastings said he was looking into who had accessed what he said was a false confidential police report, as he planned to file a separate complaint alleging defamation and injury to life. private.

When an officer from Frankfort came to their home in June last year, Hastings’ wife told police her husband ‘was emotionally and verbally abusive towards her’ and alleged he beat her near eight months previously, according to the discovery record. Hastings “vehemently denies” those claims, according to Tuesday’s press release.

Hastings’ wife was not immediately available Tuesday for comment.

Paul Castiglione, one of Hastings’ attorneys and a retired assistant prosecutor with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, said the discovery motion is authorized by state law for someone who is considering legal action.

“Someone leaked the report,” he said Tuesday, and that the petition is an effort to “try to shed some light on what happened.”

The case is set for a first hearing in court on November 3.

Hastings, in the press release, said divorce proceedings began last year.

He said the police report was “intentionally leaked to the media in a sinister attempt to influence the election, hurt me politically by tarnishing my reputation and turn the divorce around to blame me for the divorce using these false accusations of violence domestic”.

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Hastings ran unopposed in the June Democratic primary for the 19th Senate District and will face Patrick Sheehan in the November general election. Sheehan ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Hastings was first elected in November 2012 and the district includes all or parts of Frankfort, Homer Glen, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Hills and Tinley Park.

Another group, Edgar County Watchdogs, said in a recent report on the Hastings discovery file that it was able to obtain a heavily redacted copy of the police report and went to the court to force Frankfort to release an unfalsified copy of the report. .

The group, in an online report earlier this week, said it had already received an unredacted copy of the police report from other sources and detailed the allegations Hastings’ wife had made to police.

Public reports show the Frankfort home that Hastings and his wife shared was sold in August 2021 for $690,000.

Records show the senator lives at a different address in Frankfurt.

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