YORKVILLE - The attorneys for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and a man known as James Doe were not successful in settling a $1.8 million breach of contract lawsuit during a settlement conference at the Kendall County Courthouse on Friday afternoon.
The attorneys, Kristi Browne for James Doe, and John Ellis for Dennis Hastert, met separately and together with Kendall County Chief Judge Robert Pilmer over a period of two hours.
After the conference ended, Browne said Pilmer “acted as a mediator” to see if he could bring the two sides together.
Browne added that there is nothing that prevents the two attorneys from continuing their negotiations outside of the courtroom, but she said she did not know if she and Ellis would communicate further. An Oct. 29 date is set to hear arguments for motions in limine (requests for certain testimony to be excluded from the trial). Brown filed 17 motions and Ellis filed 18.
Browne telephoned her client at one point after stepping out of the conference room. Ellis declined to say if he contacted Hastert.
"I can’t tell you what the odds are of this going to trial," Browne said in response to a reporter’s question. “Right now we are scheduled to go to trial next month unless there’s a settlement.
“Up to this point my client has maintained his confidentiality. We’ll see how that’s going to work at trial. We haven’t resolved all that yet. My client is prepared to go to trial.”
Doe, a former wrestler at Yorkville High School, is suing Hastert for not paying in full an allegedly agreed upon $3.5 million in hush money. He has accused Hastert of sexually abusing him when Hastert was a teacher at the high school.
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. Hastert allegedly paid Doe $1.7 million between 2010 and 2014, according to court documents.
Hastert served as a congressman from 1987 to 2007 and was U.S. House Speaker between 1999 and 2007.