YORKVILLE – All parties in the civil case between a man named as James Doe and Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, failed to reach a settlement agreement after a May 3 conference.
Kendall County Chief Judge Robert Pilmer ordered Hastert and his attorneys to file more court documents related to another motion to sanction Doe and his lawyers by May 14, according to court documents. Doe and his legal team have until May 21 to file their documents for their own motion to sanction Hastert and his lawyers.
Hastert's lawyers are asking Pilmer to order Doe and his counsel to pay for more of Hastert's attorney's fees as a result of not following Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137. The rule requires motions or other filed documents to be well-grounded in fact, arguments to be brought up in good faith, and that anything filed is not for improper purposes like harassing the other party, causing unnecessary delay or needlessly increasing litigation costs.
John Ellis, Hastert's lawyer, said in April 23 court documents that Doe did not adhere to the strict confidentiality part of the agreement. Ellis said in the documents Doe told his wife, therapist, father, brother, friend and wife's sister's brother before speaking with law enforcement related to the federal bank charges that Hastert eventually faced, according to court depositions.
Ellis also said in court documents that Doe swore under oath that he never intended to file a lawsuit against Hastert and that he never discussed the prospect of a lawsuit with Hastert.
"Given the plaintiff's failure to truthfully plead facts, the defendant was required to engage in expensive discovery and motion practice to establish allegations as false and prove that the plaintiff cannot sustain a cause of action for a breach of contract," Ellis said in the April 23 documents.
Doe's lawyers put in their own request to Pilmer for the same action against Hastert and his counsel on the same grounds.
Kristi Browne, Doe's lawyer, said in May 1 court documents that it's Hastert and his lawyers that are the ones violating Rule 137. She said in the documents that Doe actually stated that Hastert preferred to keep the negotiation strictly confidential as opposed to using lawyers to memorialize it.
"The only reference to 'strictly confidential' in the pleading is in describing Hastert's refusal to allow a lawyer [to] mediate the dispute," Browne said in the May 1 documents.
Doe has accused Hastert of sexually abusing him while Hastert was a teacher at Yorkville High School and allegedly worked out a hush-money agreement with Hastert. Doe is suing Hastert for $1.8 million, plus interest from December 2014 to the date of payment, in the lawsuit that has been in court for more than two years, according to court documents.
The arrangement ultimately led to federal banking charges against the Plano Republican. Hastert served 13 months in federal prison on those banking charges.
Hastert served as a Congressman from 1987 to 2007 and was U.S. House Speaker between 1999 and 2007. He taught at Yorkville High School and coached wrestling between 1965 and 1981.
The update from the May 3 conference, which wasn't open to the public, comes after Pilmer ruled on April 5 to grant the motions to quash a subpoena filed by Hastert's lawyers and Sidley Austin, who represented Hastert during his criminal sentencing for violating bank laws in 2016. He also ordered the plaintiff's counsel to pay $2,000 to cover a couple dozen hours of Sidley Austin attorney time.
Lawyers of both parties did not immediately return requests for additional comment within the last week from Record Newspapers.
The case is due back in court 10 a.m. May 31 in courtroom 115 at Kendall County Courthouse, 807 John St.