Kijonka civil suit settlement reached; court date to be cancelledPosted by Jack Howser on Monday, January 24th, 2011 @ 7:12 pm.
GRAYVILLE/WHITE CO—Former Grayville mayor Henry Kijonka has been notified by his attorney that a settlement has been reached in his civil sexual harassment suit.
In a letter dated Jan. 17, Kijonka, who has been gone from Grayville for the past year now, was advised by his attorney that the civil suit brought by former city employee Shelly Osborne has been settled by the liability carrier for the city of Grayville.
“We have received full release from the Osbornes” as to any further recompense, the letter stated, “with no admission of liability” on the part of Kijonka.
Kijonka was elected mayor of Grayville in April 2007 and a year later decided to run for state senator against John O. Jones in Illinois’ 54th District. Jones, fearing the challenge in the face of his bankruptcy (which no media had touched upon until it appeared as though Kijonka were gaining some ground against Jones in the race), saw an opportunity in Osborne, who had been telling people that Kijonka had been flirting with and overtly coming on to her while she was an employee (for a short stint) up at city hall. Jones’ own personal attorney, well-known Mt. Vernon, Ill., dirtbag Morris Lane Harvey, stepped up to the plate to represent the woman and Osborne filed simultaneous Equal Opportunity Employment and civil complaints, the latter in White County Circuit Court.
From the outset many stated their belief that the whole thing was done, and timed, in order to do the most damage for Kijonka in the November 2008 election. Whatever the case, it worked, and Jones prevailed in the election…despite the fact that even at a legislator’s salary, he couldn’t keep his own financial house in order.
Kijonka resigned his position as mayor in November 2009, a year after the election, and moved to Gulfport, Mississippi. The civil case languished in court while the EOE attempted to determine whether Osborne’s complaints had any merit.
Apparently, they didn’t, and the case was remanded to the circuit matter, where the city’s liability carrier stepped up and arranged a settlement, as they indicated to our sources that it would have been “more expensive to litigate in court, no matter who prevailed, than it would to just make a settlement.” Word was that Osborne was refusing settlement; however, apparently that fell flat too. Our sources have indicated that Osborne will probably walk away with a pittance; the settlement is a 60/40 split between Osborne and Harvey. However, the attorney, who is the recipient of the settlement check, generally takes his expenses out of his client’s 60 percent, and by the time he gets through, she may end up with about 25 percent of the overall amount.
The good thing, however, is that the civil court case, previously set for early February, is going to be canceled, and the whole thing is going to be little but a bump on the ass of everyone involved in it, except maybe Osborne, who has cried sexual harassment before (when she was in high school, ruining the career of one Dennis Cotton, who now resides in Evansville) so there stands a good chance that if the elements are all aligned, she just might do so again.
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