Drew Peterson’s son files $10M lawsuit over firing
Sun-Times Media July 10, 2012 7:04PM
Updated: August 12, 2012 6:44AM
Stephen Peterson, son of Drew Peterson, who is awaiting trial on charges he murdered his wife, filed a $10 million federal lawsuit Tuesday over his firing from the Oak Brook Police Department in 2011.
The younger Peterson was fired from his job as an Oak Brook cop after the village board of fire and police commissioners voted 3 to 0 that he failed to disclose information during an investigation into the disappearance of his stepmother, Stacy Peterson.
The board cleared him of two other charges, including an illegal gun charge relating to three weapons and a transfer of $236,800 he accepted from his father three days after Stacy Peterson’s disappearance.
Drew Peterson is a former Bolingbrook police sergeant charged with murder in connection with the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He remains a suspect in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, his fourth wife.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims Thomas Sheahan, then Oak Brook police chief, was “livid” that Stephen Peterson appeared in his police uniform and took an Oak Brook squad car to testify before a 2007 Will County grand jury hearing about his father’s case, and pushed for his termination from then on.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, also accuses Sheahan and board chairman Frederick Cappetta of “conspiring” before and during the administrative hearings to ensure his termination.
The four-count lawsuit — which names Sheahan, Cappetta and the village as defendants — claims violation of due process under the 14th Amendment, tortuous interference with advantageous business relations, breach of contract, defamation and slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Each count seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and another $1 million in punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees and costs of the suit.
Oak Brook spokesman Dave Niemeyer said the village is aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment on pending litigation.