CHICAGO — Orland Park's village manager is suing a critic of his actions, alleging a robocall falsely accused him of wasting $14 million of village taxpayer money on "junk landscaping" and then configuring the village budget to hide the spending.
Orland Park Village Manager Joseph Lamargo filed a complaint on March 29 in Cook County Circuit Court against defendant William Henry and two co-defendants, identified only as John Doe and Jane Doe.
According to the complaint, Henry released a robocall to village residents on Jan. 15, 2019, essentially accusing LaMargo and the village's accountants of incompetence. The message specifically accused LaMargo of directing the village to spend $14 million on "needless landscaping on LaGrange Road," while the village "neglected its sports facilities and handicapped residents." The robocall further accused LaMargo of maneuvering the budget to hide "the yearly maintenance cost of $400,000 and dumped it into a capital improvement budget," preventing village trustees from learning the full cost.
LaMargo said the statements in the robocall are false and defamatory, and were made, with malice, specifically to damage his reputation.
The plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages of more than $50,000; punitive damages three times that amount; attorney fees; and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Michael Maksimovich of Maksimovich & Associates PC in Lyons.
Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2019-L-003392.