United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
Finnegan, Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge
Harold Richardson (“Richardson”) brought this
suit against the City of Chicago (“City”), the
Chicago Police Department (“CPD”), several CPD
Detectives (the “Officer Defendants”), Cook
County Assistant State's Attorneys (“ASAs”)
Fabio Valentini and Terrence Johnson (the “ASA
Defendants”), and Cook County (“County”)
(collectively, “Defendants”) for injuries arising
out of his alleged wrongful conviction for a murder he did
not commit. The City, CPD, and the Officer Defendants have
entered into a settlement agreement with Richardson and been
dismissed from the case. See . Currently before the
Court is the ASA Defendants' and Cook County's motion
for summary judgment . For the reasons explained below,
the motion  is granted in part and denied in part.
Summary judgment is entered in favor of ASA Valentini on
Richardson's Section 1983 failure to intervene claim.
Summary judgment is denied as to all other claims against the
ASA Defendants and the County.
following facts are taken from the Parties' Local Rule
56.1 statements and are undisputed except where a dispute is
noted. See  (ASA Defendants' Statement); 
(Richardson's Response);  (Richardson's
Additional Facts);  (ASA Defendants' Response to
Richardson's Additional Facts).
lawsuit is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to
redress alleged violations of his rights secured by the
United States Constitution. The Court has jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367. Venue is
proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), as the events giving
rise to the claims asserted in Richardson's governing
First Amended Complaint  occurred in this judicial
district and the City is a municipal corporation located
is one of four plaintiffs who originally filed lawsuits on
November 15, 2012. Each alleged that he was wrongful
convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of Nina Glover
(“Glover”). The other plaintiffs are Michael
Saunders (“Saunders”), Vincent Thames
(“Thames”), and Terrill Swift
(“Swift”). At the time relevant here (March
1995), Fabio Valentini (“Valentini”) and Terence
Johnson (“Johnson”) were ASAs in the Felony
Review unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's
Office. The County is a governmental entity within the State
was detained and arrested on March 9, 1995, while walking
along the street near Thames' house in Chicago.
Richardson testified at his deposition that three CPD
officers, whose names he does not know, arrested him.
Richardson testified that one of the officers told him,
“we got you in front of a murder scene” and that
he was placed in handcuffs, put in a police car, and
transported to the police station at 51st and
Wentworth. [448-5] at 130. According to Richardson, one of
the officer's told him that they should take him
“up under the viaduct *** and kill [him].”
Id. at 164. Richardson testified that when they
reached the police station, he was placed in a room that
contained a gun in an open drawer and Richardson felt
threatened. CPD officers then drove Richardson around for 15
to 20 minutes to look for Saunders, before returning to the
testified that, once they were back at the police station,
CPD officers instructed him that if he told the state's
attorney the following story, then he should be able to go:
He had gotten Glover's attention, put his arm around her
neck, and walked her to Thames' house. Once there,
Richardson, Saunders, Thames and Swift all had sex with
Glover. Saunders hit her on the head with a shovel, and
Richardson strangled her. Thames got a sheet to wrap the
body, while a fifth man, Jerry Fincher, acted as security.
They moved the body to another location to hide it.
testified that, after the CPD officers told him what to tell
the state's attorney, his parents were called. They
eventually arrived at the station. According to Richardson,
Valentini then came and spoke with him. Richardson testified
that he told Valentini the story that the police asked him to
repeat. See [448-5] at 167-68. Richardson testified that
Valentini was “writing stuff down” as he talked
and “asked [Richardson] if [he] wanted to sign”
the written statement. Id. at 168. Richardson
testified that he “pushed it away from [him] and told
the State's Attorney I'm not signing this; I only
said what the police told me to say.” Id.
Richardson repeated that he “told the state's
attorney that” and “pushed [the statement] away
from [him].” Id. at 169. According to
Richardson, Valentini said “nothing” in response,
but read Richardson his Miranda rights and then left
the room. Id. Richardson testified that he only
talked to one ASA while he was at the police station and that
he never talked to Johnson or gave a confession to Johnson.
and Thames signed written statements confessing to
Glover's murder, and Swift signed a court-reported
statement confessing to the murder. All three implicated
Richardson as a participant in the crime. Like Richardson,
Saunders, Thames, and Swift contend that CPD officers
threatened them and told them what to say in their
confessions. The details surrounding these other
plaintiffs' confessions are not otherwise material to the
present motion for summary judgment.
criminal attorney moved to suppress his confession. Johnson
testified at the September 16, 1997 suppression hearing.
Johnson testified that he had a fifteen-minute conversation
with Richardson on March 9, 1995, at which Richardson
confessed that he raped and choked Glover. Richardson was
present at the hearing when Johnson gave this testimony.
Richardson also testified at the hearing. Richardson
testified that he had never seen Johnson before that day and
that he did not give a statement to Johnson on March 9, 1995.
At his deposition in this case, Richardson stated that he
thought Johnson had been “lying” when he
testified at the suppression hearing. [448-5] at 167.
Richardson also testified that, to his knowledge, Johnson had
nothing to do with the confession that he gave regarding
stood trial for the rape and murder of Nina Glover in
November 1997. Valentini testified at the trial that on March
9, 1995, Richardson gave him an oral statement in which he
admitted to participating in the rape and murder of Nina
Glover. Valentini testified that he told Richardson that he
could document his statement in writing or through use of a
court reporter, but that Richardson's father, who was in
the room at the time, shook his head “no” and
Richardson then said “no.”  at 9. At the
conclusion of the bench trial, Richardson was found guilty.
The trial judge stated that he believed Richardson's oral
confession and “'t]hat's really all I
need” to find Richardson guilty.  at 9. Saunders,
Thames, and Swift were also convicted based, at least in
substantial part, on their allegedly false and coerced
post-conviction proceedings, vaginal swabs contained in the
rape kit taken from Glover's body were tested and found
to contain DNA that was consistent with the DNA of another
man, Johnny Douglas. When Richardson received these DNA
results, he filed a petition to have his conviction vacated.
Richardson's conviction was vacated on November 16, 2011.
On January 17, 2012, the state dismissed charges against him
and, on September 14, 2012, he was granted a certificate of
innocence. Saunders, Thames, and Swift were also successful
in having their convictions vacated based on this new DNA
March 2012, Johnson was interviewed by an FBI agent, Jeffrey
Moore (“Moore”), and two attorneys from the
Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The day after the
interview, Moore compiled a report (the “302
Report”) based on his notes and recollections. See
[465-7]. According to the 302 Report, although Johnson
“never heard any of the detectives tell one of the
subjects ‘Say what we want you to say and you can go
home, '” “at some point during all the
interviews the subjects were told that the first one to talk
can become a witness and that witnesses go home.”
Id. at 4.
to the 302 Report, Johnson and Valentini both felt that CPD
detectives coached and fed the subjects information during
their statements to the ASAs, at times correcting their
responses to questions. Valentini told Johnson that two of
the subjects from whom he took statements refused to sign the
statements; one subject got cold feet and recanted, while the
other subject's parents were in the room and he did not
want his parents to know what he had done. The report states
that Johnson worried that the statements were fabricated
because they were too consistent and CPD officers fed the
subjects information during their statements.
Report further states that prior to the motion to suppress
hearing, Detectives James Cassidy (“Cassidy”) and
Richard Paladino (“Paladino”) circulated a
document/timeline detailing what the detectives and ASAs
should say when questioned about the Glover investigation, so
they all would provide consistent statements. During breaks,
the detectives told Johnson and Valentini what the defense
attorneys were asking and discussed what their responses
should be. According to the 302 Report, Johnson thought the
suppression hearing was “[r]igged.” [465-7] at 6.
“It bothered Johnson that they were all supposed to
agree to the way things happened.” Id.
According to the report, “Valentini told Johnson he
would use the time line and that it would help them remember,
” but “Johnson told Valentini he would say he
didn't remember if there was something in the time line
he did not agree with.” Id. “Johnson
never told anyone about the incident or document.”
filed his original complaint  on November 15, 2012. The
complaint included eleven claims against the City and the
Officer Defendants: Section 1983 claims for violations of Due
Process and the Fifth Amendment, failure to intervene,
conspiracy, supervisory liability, and Monell
liability; and state law claims for malicious prosecution,
intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”), civil conspiracy, respondeat superior,
and indemnification. Richardson was the only one of the four
plaintiffs who did not also bring claims against the County
and one or more ASAs in November 2012. In particular, Swift
named Johnson and the County as defendants, while Saunders
named Johnson, Valentini, and the County as defendants.
Saunders' complaint included the same eleven claims as
Richardson's original complaint.
Saunders complaint, filed on November 15, 2012 (the same day
Richardson filed his original complaint), ...