A screenshot of a federal civil rights complaint filed by Maywood resident Derrick Neal Lewis in 2014.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 || By Michael Romain
The Maywood Board of Trustees recently approved two separate employee-related payments — one involving an allegation of police abuse by Maywood officers and another involving a village employee who contested his termination and the denial of extended sick leave pay. The two payments add up to around $20,000.
The police abuse settlement stems from a civil rights complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District by Derrick Neal Lewis in 2014 against Maywood Police Officers Michael Babicz and Kyle Rice.
Lewis, of Maywood, claimed that on Nov. 4, 2013, he was beaten by the officers and charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon.
“I was taken to Westlake hospital to receive stitches as well as X-rays to my back which [sic] was injured during my arrest,” Lewis wrote in the complaint, in which he adds that he was taken to the hospital twice because of “constant head aches and back pain.”
“I was not charged with fleeing or resisting arrest,” Lewis wrote, adding that there were more officers involved in the abuse whose names he couldn’t retrieve.
According to a June 2016 village memo, Lewis had initially demanded $100,000 to settle the case. The village denied any liability. A magistrate judge lowered Lewis’ demand to $7,500 during a settlement conference in May. The lowered settlement amount was unanimously approved by the Maywood Board of Trustees at a July 26 regular meeting.
The agreement isn’t considered an admission or evidence of wrongdoing. At the time Lewis filed his federal complaint, he was incarcerated in the Cook County Jail.
Former village employee gets $12K in extended sick leave back pay
At the July 26 regular meeting, the village board also authorized an arbitration order, which paid $12,000 to Crawford Barbee, a former village parking supervisor who contested the conditions of his termination and the village’s alleged denial of extended sick leave pay.
According to an April 2016 village memo, Barbee had a history of “serious medical issues that have resulted in numerous absences from work.”
In November 2014, the memo states, Barbee “had been and was unable to work for serious medical reasons.” His request for extended sick leave was unfulfilled by the village’s HR coordinator at the time because Barbee wouldn’t provide the required medical documentation.
Barbee allegedly “yelled” at the HR coordinator, claiming the village already knew about his health issues and already had sufficient medical documentation on hand.
He was terminated shortly afterward for “not providing necessary documentation and not returning to work.”
According to the arbitration order, the village upheld Barbee’s termination, required him to withdraw his complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and paid him $12,000, the amount of his extended sick leave pay. VFP