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Pandemic further delays O’Fallon police lawsuit

Capt. Jeffrey Gray and Maj. Kyle Kelley filed their six-count employment discrimination lawsuit against the city of O’Fallon on Feb. 12, 2018, in St. Charles County Circuit Court.

On July 19, 2019, Mayor Bill Hennessy was added to the lawsuit with a seventh count for alleged defamation. From the beginning, Gray and Kelley have insisted on a jury trial. However, due to continuing delays in the discovery process, the trial still has not started.

The case was delayed throughout 2018, 2019 and early 2020 for several reasons.  On Feb 5, the plaintiffs and defendants had agreed to a joint case management plan approved by Circuit Judge Jon A. Cunningham, setting a discovery deadline of April 24. Additionally, the defendants agreed to provide to the plaintiffs and the court a schedule for all depositions by Feb. 17.

Then, the city of O’Fallon canceled all depositions in early March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning in mid-March and continuing through June, court activities were curtailed or canceled, depending on the urgency and priority of the activity as compared to the need for health safety measures.

On July 14, plaintiffs’ attorney John Lynch said, “A joint proposed amended case management plan was filed electronically with the court on July 1, with a certificate of service, specifying that all discovery depositions now are to be completed by Oct. 26, 2020.”  Lynch said he plans to push for a firm trial date shortly thereafter.

Mid Rivers Newsmagazine published detailed stories about this lawsuit on April 28, July 3, Aug. 23, Sept. 19, and Oct. 31, 2019, and Feb. 18 and June 24, 2020.

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