A new lawsuit has been filed by a woman claiming she was falsely arrested on drug chargesby an ex-Schaumburg police officer who has since been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Danielle Williams filed the lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court against Terrance O’Brien and the Village of Schaumburg, claiming she was falsely arrested in February 2009.
Williams claims she was arrested at her home in northwest suburban Bloomingdale, according to the suit. O’Brien, along with several other officers, entered her home with an “improperly obtained” search warrant and handcuffed her in her bedroom.
O’Brien claimed the woman told him she had been selling drugs and had drugs in the pocket of a jacket in her closet, according to the suit. He then claimed he found drugs and drug paraphernalia in her home, and that she confessed to him.
Williams claims she pleaded guilty to a Class 4 felony, possession of cocaine, because she was pregnant and a single mother, according to the suit.
After O’Brien was charged, Williams’ plea agreement was vacated in February 2013, according to the lawsuit.
Williams claims that as a result of the wrongful arrest and prosecution, she lost her Section 8 housing voucher, lost her job, had to drop out of school and was ostracized from her community.
She initially filed a lawsuit in federal court, but the suit was dismissed on April 12, 2014 because it “failed to allege causes of action cognizable under federal law.”
The new suit claims malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and indemnification, and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
O’Brien is one of three Schaumburg police officers who took part in an elaborate scheme for at least six months that involved withholding cocaine and marijuana taken during arrests, then reselling them through a street dealer, prosecutors said.
He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, official misconduct, burglary and armed violence in March 2014 and was sentenced to 24 years, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.
Two other officers who were not named in the suit, Matthew Hudak and John Cichy, were also charged in connection with the drug scheme and resigned. Hudak was sentenced to 26 years, and Cichy is awaiting trial, according to DuPage County court records.
More than a dozen people convicted of various drug offenses after being arrested by Hudak, Cichy and O’Brien have been cleared of charges since the officers were arrested, the Sun-Times previously reported.
At least 16 other lawsuits have been filed against Schaumburg and different combinations of O’Brien, Cichy and Hudak since February 2013.
Jim Sotos, an attorney for the Village of Schaumburg, said the new lawsuit was filed after a similar one was dismissed by a federal judge.
“We are confident the new case will meet the same fate as the last case,” Sotos said.