FRANKFORT, IL — State Senator Michael Hastings is suing the Village of Frankfort to find out if someone in the Frankfort Police Department or Laraway Communications Center leaked a police report from a June 2021 domestic incident involving Hastings and his wife, Kathleen, at their home.
Hastings filed a petition for discovery July 18 in the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial District in Will County, according to court documents. The petition also lists two unnamed people as sources of possible information on the leak.
According to court documents, a Frankfort police officer responded June 20, 2021, to the Hastings’ home in the 20600 block of Holland Harbor Drive for a report of a verbal argument. Hastings alleges that the police report contains “defamatory statements” and “false claims” of domestic violence made by his estranged wife, including an allegation she was battered by her husband approximately eight months prior.
The Hastings are currently in the process of getting a divorce. In his petition, Hastings said that he is a potential plaintiff in a separate complaint alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.
Village of Frankfort Administrator Rob Piscia in an email Wednesday wrote that the Village is aware of Hastings’ petition.
“The Village takes such allegations seriously and affirms that it responds to requests and release of information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act,” Piscia wrote. “The Village will not be providing any further comment on this litigation at this time.”
Laraway Communications Center has not responded to a request for comment.
Several media outlets, including Patch, have filed Freedom of Information Act Requests for the June 2021 police report. Patch has not yet received a response to his request.
Court records show that the request from one of the media outlets, Edgar County Watchdogswas denied in December 2021 by Frankfort PD based on a FOIA exemption that excludes the release of “Personal information contained within public records, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
Edgar County Watchdogs appealed that ruling to the Public Access Counselor of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, which said the police report was “appropriately withheld” because “the privacy interest of those involved outweigh the public interest in disclosure,” according to court documents .
Hastings claimed the police report was “intentionally leaked to the news media in a sinister attempt to influence the elections, hurt me politically by tarnishing my reputation, and turning the divorce around to blame the divorce on me by using these false domestic violence accusations,” according to an emailed statement.
Hastings is running unopposed in June’s Democratic primary. He will face off against Republican Patrick Sheehan in the November General Election for the Illinois State Senate District 19 seat. Hastings was first elected to the seat in 2012.
The 19th State Senate District includes portions of Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox, Tinley Park, Flossmoor, Oak Forest, Orland Park and Homer Glen.