Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 14 CH 6113.
Honorable Rita M. Novak, Judge, Presiding.
APPELLANT(s): John L. Stainthorp, Jan Susler, G. Flint
Taylor, People's Law Office, Chicago, IL.
APPELLEE(s): Carolyn E. Shapiro, Solicitor General, and Mary
E. Welsh, Assistant Attorney General, Chicago, IL.
Presiding Justice and Delort, Justice concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
[¶1] The plaintiff, Gordon Randy Steidl,
appeals from an order of the circuit court of Cook County
dismissing his complaint for mandamus against Lisa
Madigan, the Attorney General of Illinois (Attorney General).
For the reasons which follow, we affirm.
[¶2] The facts necessary to a resolution of
this appeal are taken from the allegations contained in the
plaintiff's complaint and from judicial decisions of
which we take judicial notice. The plaintiff was convicted
for the 1986 murders of Dyke and Karen Rhoads in Paris,
Illinois, and received a death sentence. People v.
Steidl, 142 Ill.2d 204, 218, 568 N.E.2d 837, 154
Ill.Dec. 616 (1991). His sentence was later reduced to life
imprisonment. On June 17, 2003, the United States District
Court for the Central District of Illinois (District Court)
granted the plaintiff's habeas corpus petition,
vacated his convictions and ordered that he be retried within
120 days or be released. Steidl v. Walls, 267
F.Supp.2d 919, 941 (C.D. Ill. 2003). The State elected not to
appeal that order, and the plaintiff was released from
[¶3] Following his release, the plaintiff
filed a civil rights action in the District Court against a
number of individuals and entities involved in his
prosecution, including Michael McFatridge, the elected
State's Attorney of Edgar County, Illinois, who
prosecuted the plaintiff. The plaintiff asserted claims
against McFatridge under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for false
imprisonment, wrongful conviction, and violations of his
right to due process. In addition, the plaintiff asserted
Illinois common law claims against McFatridge for false
imprisonment, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction
of emotional distress, and conspiracy.
[¶4] In June 2005, McFatridge made a demand
pursuant to section 2 of the State Employee Indemnification
Act (Act) (5 ILCS 350/2 (West 2004)) upon the Attorney
General for representation in the civil rights action.
McFatridge v. Madigan, 2013 IL 113676, ¶ 6, 989
N.E.2d 165, 989 N.E.2d 165. By letter dated July 6, 2005, the
Attorney General declined the request, stating that the
claims pending against McFatridge contain allegations of acts
and omissions of intentional, willful and wanton misconduct.
Id., ¶ 7.
[¶5] On March 27, 2013, the District Court
entered a " Consent Judgment" against McFatridge
and other defendants in the civil rights action. The Consent
Judgment contained findings that, at all times relevant,
McFatridge had acted
within the scope of his employment and that his actions or
inactions were intended to serve and benefit the interests of
the State of Illinois. Judgment in the sum of $2 million plus
interest was entered in favor of the plaintiff and against
McFatridge. According to the Consent Judgment, Edgar County
and its insurers agreed to pay the plaintiff $375,000 in
partial satisfaction of the judgment entered against
McFatridge. It also states that McFatridge had assigned his
claim for indemnification from the State of Illinois for the
remaining portion of the judgment against him in the amount
of " $1,650,000.00 [ sic ]" together with
post-judgment interest to the plaintiff in exchange for the
plaintiff's covenant not to execute on any portion of the
judgment against McFatridge and his personal assets.
[¶6] On April 24, 2013, the plaintiff, as
assignee of McFatridge, made a formal demand on the State of
Illinois and the Attorney General pursuant to section 2 of
the Act (5 ILCS 350/2 (West 2012)) for full payment of the
outstanding $1.65 million judgment against McFatridge
together with post-judgment interest. On May 24, 2013, the
Attorney General rejected the plaintiff's demand,
asserting that McFatridge had no right to indemnification as:
the acts and omissions upon which the judgment against him
was based were intentional, willful or wanton; no court or
jury has found that ...