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RICO and Honest Services Complaint Sustained in Benchmark Federal Court Ruling

In an historic ruling, the Federal Court of the Seventh Circuit sustained both civil RICO and Honest Services charges in the suit against Cook County Board of Review Commissioners Larry Rogers Jr., Joseph Berrios and Brendan Houlihan, along with members of their senior staffs. The ruling is significant because the RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization) Act is rarely successfully pled in a civil lawsuit such as to survive Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motions-this case maybe the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court decision narrowing its scope, that the charge of denial of Honest Services has been successfully pled. The benchmark case, Santana v Board of Review, now proceeds to discovery and trial.

"We were heartened by the Court's ruling sustaining these charges,' R. Tamara de Silva, attorney for the Plaintiff stated, 'we understood that pleading both RICO and Honest Services would be challenging, but believed the facts, in this case, warranted the charges. We were very pleased with the Court's ruling."

"It should never be easy to bring charges, such as these, against a government entity like the Board of Review,' de Silva continued, 'but neither should a government entity by allowed to trample on the constitutional rights of a private businessman nor engage in a pattern of activities, anticipated by Honest Services and the RICO Act, with impunity. We believe the Court's ruling substantially advances the evolution and interpretation of both these landmark legal questions."

"My client looks forward to his case moving to discovery and trial,' de Silva said, 'we will be no less vigilant, focused and relentless in revealing the actions, motivations and consequences of the Defendants, and those that participated in the 'continuing enterprise'.