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No word on possible settlement between Casciaro, Johnsburg officials

Litigation is ongoing in the case of Mario Casciaro (center), who spent 22 months in prison for a 2002 murder conviction that later was overturned.
Litigation is ongoing in the case of Mario Casciaro (center), who spent 22 months in prison for a 2002 murder conviction that later was overturned.

JOHNSBURG – Litigation is ongoing in the case of a man who spent 22 months in prison for a 2002 murder conviction that later was overturned.

Dominick Lanzito – an attorney representing the village of Johnsburg – and Village President Ed Hettermann declined to comment whether there have been talks of settling a lawsuit filed in March on behalf of Mario Casciaro.

Casciaro was convicted in March 2013 of killing Brian Carrick – a Johnsburg teen who last was seen Dec. 20, 2002, at a grocery store where he worked, which Casciaro’s parents owned.

He spent 22 months in the Menard Correctional Center on a 26-year sentence before the Second District Appellate Court overturned his conviction in September 2015.

Now seeking money damages, Casciaro has filed a lawsuit that names McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen and the village of Johnsburg.

Casciaro settled with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office for $50,000, but said Friday that he has “no information” about the prospect of a settlement with Johnsburg officials.

An insurance company in March hired attorneys from Berwyn law firm Del Gado Law Group LLC to represent Von Allmen and the village. That same company, however, withdrew its involvement, and the Del Gado Law Group followed suit shortly after on June 27.

In the meantime, Lanzito continues to represent the village, whose legal fees are being paid for through a previous insurer.

Hettermann said he doesn’t know when the village switched insurers, but he said the decision had nothing to do with the lawsuit.

The village president declined to provide names of either insurance company. He said he thought it was irrelevant.

Neither Del Gado Law Group attorneys nor Casciaro’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, could be reached for comment Friday.

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