Although attorneys for former Mayor Richard M. Daley said he will not testify this week in a police torture trial, attorneys for the alleged victim are not giving up on their fight to put the former mayor on the stand.
A federal judge ruled in August that Daley could be sued as a defendant for his alleged role in what plaintiffs called a "citywide conspiracy" to cover up police torture.
Michael Tillman, who served almost 24 years on rape and murder charges before he was freed last year when physical evidence exonerated him, is suing the city for suppressing evidence and covering up police torture. His attorney, G. Flint Taylor, requested Daley appear for deposition on Thursday to question him about his knowledge of allegations against the police department that suspects were tortured, NBC Chicago reports. Daley was cleared to face questioning on Thursday, but Taylor said he'll keep trying.
"Yes, I’m disappointed," said Taylor. "But good things come to he or she that wait."
Daley's attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to reconsider her decision that the former mayor can be named as a defendant for failing to intervene when he was the Cook County State's Attorney in the 1980s, CBS reports.
The retired mayor drew criticism for his sarcastic apology in response to claims that he should be held responsible.
"The best way is to say, 'Okay. I apologize to everybody [for] whatever happened to anybody in the city of Chicago.'... So, I apologize to everybody. Whatever happened to them in the city of Chicago in the past, I apologize. I didn't do it, but somebody else did it," Daley said in 2008.
The deposition scheduled for Sept. 8 was stalled by a letter from city attorneys saying that Daley would not be available until Pallmeyer rules on their motion asking her to reconsider Daley's eligibility for the suit, the Chicago Tribune reports. A spokesperson for the city, which is obligated to pay Daley's legal bills, cited a desire to stall the expenditure time and resources until they get a verdict on whether Daley will remain a defendant.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has publicly expressed a desire to settle unresolved cases.
"We have a future to build -- not a past to settle. That's what I look at," Emanuel said in August.
But Taylor said he will continue the fight if Daley refuses to be deposed, meeting with the former mayor's lawyers and, if necessary, asking a judge to force Daley to testify and hold him in contempt of court if he refuses, the Tribune reports.
See Taylor's response to Daley's refusal to testify here: