Fritz Kaegi sues company tied to Berrios for setting up fake website in his name

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Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios (left) and Fritz Kaegi. | Sun-Times files

After notching a decisive win last month in the Democratic primary election, Fritz Kaegi filed suit against a web designer with ties to outgoing Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios for registering a fake campaign website in his name.

Kaegi cruised to victory over Berrios and Andrea Raila in the March 20 primary election, winning more than 45 percent of the vote. He is running unopposed in the general election.

Kaegi filed a previous suit to determine who registered the domain for FritzKaegi.org last May, according to previous reporting by the Chicago Sun-Times. The GoDaddy domain registrar and website-hosting company identified Quenton Galvin as the man who registered the sham campaign site.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Galvin is owner of Non Stop Web Design of Grayslake — a company that has done previous campaign work for Berrios, the chairman of the county Democratic Party.

The latest suit — filed last Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court — names Galvin and his company as defendants, and seeks to add Berrios and his political committee as respondents in discovery.

Non Stop Design has been paid thousands of dollars by the Cook County Democratic Party, the Committee to Elect Joseph Berrios Assessor and other political funds controlled by Berrios, state campaign-finance disclosure documents show.

Galvin’s sham site published photographs of Kaegi and his family, solicited contact information from visitors and reported on news from his campaign, according to the suit. The site also listed a 2017 copyright and attribution to “Friends of Fritz Kaegi” at the bottom of the page.

In addition, Galvin registered Facebook and Twitter pages with Kaegi’s name at some point last year, the suit claims.

CrowdPac, a fundraising website, is also named as a defendant in the suit. The website allegedly solicited contributions to support Kaegi’s campaign without the candidate’s consent or knowledge.

The suit alleges that Galvin and CrowdPac violated the Illinois Right to Publicity Act, which holds that a person or entity “may not use an individual’s identity for commercial purposes during the individual’s lifetime without having obtained previous written consent.”

Kaegi is seeking up to $1,000 from both Galvin and CrowdPac, as well as attorney fees, costs and punitive damages, according to the suit.

Galvin, Berrios and CrowdPac didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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