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Elgin settles suit against cop in beating
by Harry Hitzeman | Daily Herald Staff

Chris Darr

 

Kevin D. Schwartz

 

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Published: 1/13/2009 4:23 PM | Updated: 1/13/2009 5:04 PM

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The saga of an off-duty Elgin police officer who was convicted of beating a handcuffed suspect in the back of a squad car appears to be over.

According to federal court documents, the lawsuit brought against former Elgin officer Christopher Darr and the city of Elgin was quietly dismissed in late October when both sides reached a settlement.

Darr, who resigned from the force June 20, was sued by South Elgin resident Kevin Schwartz for $5 million.

Michael Oppenheimer, Schwartz's attorney, would not comment on how much money his client received.

"It's a confidential settlement," Oppenheimer said. "I can tell you that Mr. Schwartz is very happy."

Schwartz was one of numerous people arrested after a Jan. 1, 2008, hotel brawl in which Darr's father, Jack, who was head of security at the Holiday Inn on Route 31, was badly beaten.

The elder Darr, who also served as a Elgin deputy police chief before retiring, recovered; the charges against Schwartz eventually were dropped.

Darr was convicted of misdemeanor battery by Kane County Judge Allen Anderson in July after a stipulated bench trial in which Darr waived his right to testify or present a defense.

He agreed to the trial in exchange for having two felony counts of aggravated battery dismissed.

Darr was ordered to pay $500 in fines and fees and was issued two years of conditional discharge, a form of probation.

The lawsuit in which Schwartz alleged his civil rights were violated never went to trial.

How much the city - and ultimately taxpayers - paid to Schwartz is anyone's guess.

William Cogley, Elgin's corporation counsel, declined to comment Tuesday. Jeff Swoboda, Elgin deputy chief and department spokesman, referred inquiries to Cogley.

Mayor Ed Schock also declined to comment on how much the city paid to settle the lawsuit.

The Daily Herald filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city on Tuesday afternoon. The city has up to seven business days to respond.