Ex-Tinley Park planner loses bid to be dismissed from lawsuit over housing project
With the recent dismissal of a motion to grant ex-Tinley Park Planning Director Amy Connolly immunity from prosecution, she now faces trial in a federal lawsuit brought by the village related to her actions while serving on the village's planning commission.
Ruling in U.S. District Court for the Northern District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Sara L. Ellis found Connolly has no immunity from the suit as a non-elected public servant, according to a Dec. 6 article posted on the Edgar County Watchdogs' Illinois Leaks website. So far, Connolly’s alleged actions have cost Tinley Park millions, the article said.
Prosecutors filed the lawsuit in May alleging that Connolly conspired with The Buckeye Community Hope Foundation in a plan allowing its new, low-income housing project in Tinley Park’s Legacy district to violate zoning rules by not having retail space at the street level, the article stated.
This project “appears to have been a scheme to milk huge sums of money from the state of Illinois by exploiting the shady tax credit system,” writer Kevin Dujan said in the Illinois Leaks article.
Controversy continues around the foundation’s project. Last year, the Citizens of Tinley Park community group prevailed in a suit against Buckeye, Connolly and former village attorney Thomas Melody when the court found the zoning-rule changes made to accommodate Buckeye’s project were illegal.
The Illinois Leaks website says Buckeye retaliated by charging Tinley Park with racism and discrimination via the Department of Justice, a complaint that is still pending.