CICERO – Cook County Judge Patrick J. Sherlock dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit July 21 that was filed in December 2012 by defeated mayoral candidate Juan Ochoa and his attorney Frank Avila Jr. against town of Cicero President Larry Dominick and more than 20 other defendants.
The lawsuit was denounced at the time as a form of political harassment and was intended to aide Ochoa in his bid to run as a candidate for Cicero town president in the Feb. 26, 2013, municipal elections, according to town spokesman Ray Hanania.
The lawsuit included 75 allegations, including that Cicero officials had wrongly claimed that several known street gang leaders identified by the Chicago Crime Commission in their most active Gang Crimes Book were working on Ochoa’s campaign.
Cicero officials, the Cicero Voters Alliance and other defendants plan to file a fee petition against Ochoa and Avila to recover tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees that were paid to defend the 20-plus defendants against Ochoa and Avila’s lawsuit, Hanania said in a statement.
“The Ochoa/Avila lawsuit was just another failed attempt by them to undermine the voters of the town of Cicero who overwhelmingly voted to reject Ochoa’s candidacy and to affirm their confidence in the leadership of incumbent Cicero President Larry Dominick,” Hanania said.
“Ochoa, Avila, and the street gang members who campaigned on Ochoa’s behalf, were a part of a circus freak show that was more of an insult to the needs of voters than it was a substantive election campaign,” he added.