Remember a little more than a year ago, after the charge that Naperville Councilman Richard Furstenau slapped a police officer was tossed out of court, and he asked for an apology and $130,000 to cover the costs of his failed state Senate campaign? Remember that? And how everyone sorta laughed, and said, who does he think he is? And how City Manager Peter Burchard got absolutely incensed about the request, and so did some other city leaders. Remember that?
Remember when Furstenau went ahead and filed his lawsuit, then? And how that was a big deal at the time, and whether he should remain on the council or resign or at least recuse himself. Gee, time flies. Now, here we are, and the legal costs associated with Furstenau's suit have topped $700,000. It's likely to end up costing Naperville taxpayers well over $1 million -- maybe closer to $2 million -- when this is all over.
Today's question is: Should the city have apologized to Furstenau and ponied up the $130,000 a year ago? it would have been a lot cheaper to taxpayers. Isn't that why most claims end up getting settled instead of going to court, anyway? Or would that have violated the city's principals? If Furstenau loses the case, is he responsible for the city's legal fees? Should he be? Or is he in a no-lose situation, where, even if he loses his case, he still gets to say, "See, I told you the city should have paid me $130,000 and apologized, would have saved everyone a lot of money."