Worker took city to court, now faces battery charge
STREETS AND SAN | Is it harassment because of suit? October 3, 2007
BY ERIC HERMAN Criminal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Sullivan -- the Streets and Sanitation worker who battled city patronage in federal court -- has found himself on the wrong end of the law.
Sullivan, 44, was arrested last Wednesday after shoving a fellow employee while trying to enter an office in a Streets and Sanitation building on the 2400 block of South Ashland, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office.
Prosecutors charged Sullivan with one count of misdemeanor battery. At a hearing Thursday, a judge set his bond at $1,000.
Plaintiff with Shakman
Michael Shakman, the lawyer whose federal anti-patronage lawsuit Sullivan joined in 2005, said Sullivan's arrest "was the result of harassment that has been brewing there for a long time because he has been a whistleblower with respect to patronage practices."
The incident came seven weeks after Sullivan went back to court, claiming he was denied city overtime because he had become a plaintiff in Shakman's lawsuit.
In 2005, Sullivan alleged the Streets and Sanitation Department gave better assignments and more overtime to workers with political clout, especially those with ties to Cook County Commissioner John Daley, the mayor's brother.
The city settled that suit in March, creating a fund for those denied jobs and awarding $25,000 to Sullivan.
In August, Sullivan went to court to enforce the agreement, with Shakman as his lawyer.
As for last week's incident, Sullivan "contends there was no battery," Shakman said.
Streets and San spokesman Matt Smith said a "violence in the workplace" incident was under investigation. He declined further comment.