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4/17/03 City must bare all

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Significant court victory -- City must provide info

In major positive development yesterday, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District were denied in their motion keep the Illinois Association of Air and Critical Care Transport, the Friends of Meigs Field, Chicago By Air, and others from discovering information critical to their case to reopen Meigs.

Judge William Maki ruled that the defendants, including Mayor Richard M. Daley must provide all relevant documents, and answer written questions about the secret meeting or meetings that preceded the midnight raid to damage the

valuable lakefront airport on March 30. The judge also reserved the right for the plaintiffs to question Daley and other high-ranking officials in depositions, after the results of a hearing on May 16.

"We are very pleased," said Stephen Novack, attorney for the plaintiffs.

The judge also scheduled oral argument on Monday for a new motion by the Friends of Meigs to toss out the City's effort to squash the case. (This gets a little

confusing, sorry...stay with it for a minute.) Back on April 11, the City moved to have the entire case dismissed. The judge scheduled this motion to be heard

on May 16, keeping the current Temporary Restraining Order in place at least until then. The following Monday, the City also moved to "stay discovery" (or suppress the plaintiffs' ability to gather key facts) until after the motion to dismiss was heard. Yesterday's hearing was on this motion, and with the exception of live interviews, the City's request was turned down. The plaintiffs have already submitted requests for documents (including e-mails) and "interrogatories" (written questions to be answered under oath.) The City and Park District must answer the interrogatories or make specific objections to

specific questions to the judge.

Also at yesterday's hearings, the plaintiffs entered a "motion to strike" the City's "motion to dismiss," under grounds that it was done improperly. (No, despite the terms, nobody is striking anyone in court!) Judge Maki has

scheduled to hear oral argument on that motion on Monday, April 21.

The upshot: Our guys made some SIGNIFICANT progress this round, despite the City and Park District's best efforts to keep the facts from coming out. Stay tuned...there

is a long, uphill way to go.

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Related stories:

Chicago Tribune: City can't duck queries about Meigs,1,4825416.story

Chicago Sun-Times: Meigs group can quiz Daley


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