Judge dismisses Kendall state’s attorney from lawsuit over relationship between top prosecutor, client

Kendall County prosecutor resigned last year over alleged improper relationship

Prosecuting attorney Mark Shlifka during the Javier Esqueda motion hearing at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville on Thursday, March 1st. Esqueda is charged with official misconduct for accessing and leaking the police squad video of the arrest of Eric Lurry, 37, who died following his arrest on drug charges in January 2020.

DeKalb County Chief Judge Bradley Waller on Jan. 4 dismissed Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis from a lawsuit alleging he knew that a high-ranking official in the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s office had been involved in an improper physical relationship with a woman who was involved in multiple cases pending before the court.

Kendall County First Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Shlifka resigned last April amid allegations that between March 2022 and March 2023 he had been involved in an improper romantic relationship with a Kendall County woman who had been the complaining witness and victim in two domestic battery cases and recently the defendant in a DUI case.

The cases were being prosecuted by the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s office, and Shlifka was aware of the woman’s involvement in them, according to a lawsuit she filed against Shlifka and Weis.

In an amended lawsuit that was before Waller on Jan. 4, the woman claims that Weis saw her and Shlifka together on at least two occasions “and knew the plaintiff by sight, in this small community, to be a defendant in a criminal case pending in Kendall County.”

“Defendant Weis remained silent and his silence should be viewed as approval and acceptance of the Shlifka’s inappropriate relationship with the plaintiff,” according to the lawsuit.

In responding to the amended lawsuit, Weis and his attorney replied that the woman “has not made any allegations that Shlifka told her that [State’s Attorney] Weis recognized her or knew that she was a criminal defendant. Rather, she alleges that seeing her with Shlifka should have put Weis on notice to question their relationship.”

Reached by email, Weis’ attorney, Julie Bruch, did not have a comment on the judge’s decision nor did Bradley Skafish and Jeff Deutschman, the attorneys for the woman who filed the suit. The next hearing on the case is set for 10 a.m. April 11.

In August, Waller approved a motion to dismiss Weis from the lawsuit. At the same time, he left the door open for the woman’s attorney to file an amended lawsuit.

The suit seeks more than $50,000 in compensatory damages from Shlifka and $50,000 in compensatory damages from Weis, who is accused of not properly supervising Shlifka.

A complaint against Shlifka is also before the hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Shlifka apologized to his colleagues in an email the day he resigned, records show.

“I know I have let you down,” Shlifka wrote in an email sent to the entire state’s attorney’s office at 4:15 p.m. that day.

“I apologize to each and every one of you for letting you, the office, and all that we stand for, down,” Shlifka wrote in an email obtained in response to an Illinois Freedom of Information Act request.