Settlement reached in 3rd lawsuit against Joliet police officer, city

Joliet Police Officer Nicholas Crowley

A settlement has been reached in a woman’s excessive force lawsuit against a Joliet police officer, an “unnamed police officer,” and the city of Joliet in about three months since the case was filed.

The lawsuit from plaintiff Amanda Brown, 26, of Calumet City, was filed on May 27, in Will County against Joliet Police Officer Nicholas Crowley, another officer who was not named in the complaint and the city.

Brown alleged in her lawsuit that on June 1, 2020, Crowley roughed her up, pushed her to the ground and then gave her a ticket for failing to obey a stop sign.

The city’s attorneys from Hervas, Condon and Bersani were able to get the case moved to federal court because the claims in Brown’s lawsuit invoked alleged federal violations.

David Mathues, one of those attorneys, informed a federal judge in an Aug. 18 court filing that both parties have been “engaged in meaningful negotiations and have reached a settlement in this matter.”

Mathues requested a 45-day extension, which was granted, to allow for the payment of settlement funds to Brown and to file a dismissal of the case.

On Wednesday, Mathues declined to provide the settlement amount. He said the only thing he could say was that the city reached the settlement for economic reasons given the cost of continued litigation.

“It was the best financial decision for the city and its taxpayers,” Mathues said.

Brown’s attorney, Anthony Tomkiewicz, of the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, declined to disclose the settlement amount or provide further details about the case. He said his firm plans to release a statement about the settlement in the future.

Sgt. Dwayne English, Joliet Police Department’s spokesman, said the department is unable to comment on any elements of pending litigation.

The lawsuit against Crowley is his third since 2018.

In 2018, Christopher Simenson sued Crowley and the city of Joliet in federal court over allegations that Crowley injured him during a 2016 arrest.

After a trial last year, a federal jury ruled in Simenson’s favor and awarded him about $7,770 in compensatory damages.

Also in 2018, Milbert Waters filed a federal lawsuit against Crowley, officer Arthur Arellano and the city of Joliet. Waters’ lawsuit claimed Crowley and Arrellano arrested him in 2016, with no probable cause or legal justification.

Arellano was dismissed as a defendant in the case on Aug. 3, leaving Crowley and the city as remaining defendants in Waters’ lawsuit.

In a joint status report on Wednesday, both parties in Waters’ case have asked for the case to be referred to another federal judge for a settlement conference.