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Mayoral Foe Sues Tinley Park

Steve Eberhardt claims village blocked him from participating in Discover Tinley expo.

A local attorney who challenged Ed Zabrocki in the last mayoral election has filed a lawsuit claiming he and his supporters were blocked from participating in the "Discover Tinley" expo.

Steve Eberhardt, who lost his spring 2013 bid for the mayor's seat, filed a claim in federal court on Feb. 6 listing the village, Zabrocki, various elected officials and staff as defendants. He claims his First Amendment rights were violated.

"The mayor uses his official position to try and thwart the free speech of everybody that's not one of his supporters," Eberhardt told the Chicago Tribune. "Part and parcel of that is to use the assets and the benefits of being the mayor for his own personal and political advantage."

Eberhardt, who blogs as Tinley Sparks, said he was told he could not have a booth at the convention center where the expo his held because political groups aren't allowed space at the expo. But Eberhardt counters that the mayor and village trustees touted their "Team Tinley" group at the expo and campaigned at the event.

Zabrocki told the Tribune this is a "vindictive" lawsuit.
Master of Reality February 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM
I might understand this a little if the last election was close. Keep your name in front of people, bide your time and then run again. If the last election was close it would maybe somehow validate all the FOIA's and his MO. But he got trounced, which means one of 2 things. One people are fine with Z or the people don't think Eberhardt is the answer. Either way this lawsuit does nothing but cut into whatever possible support he thought he would have come election time.
Grew up in TP February 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM
If I was the Mayor (or any of his staff being sued) I would certainly have long filed a cease & desist order on him LONG AGO! The guy is a nut job!
Pat C. February 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Oh come on Tinley people, do we really have to resort to name-calling? How old are we anyway? Steve Eberhardt did not rack up $60,000 in FOIA requests, that's just what the Zabrocky administration wanted you to believe. In case you didn’t know FIOA requests are EVERYBODY's right, he was just exercising his, something more of us should do in order to keep our governments honest. But instead, we are apathetic and blasé and as long as it does not affect us directly or personally, we could care less about it. We should be thankful to Steve Eberhardt for he is doing all of us a big favor. He is trying to shed some light on what is really going on with our Tinley Park officials and all we do is call him names. Yes, he lost big in the last election, but if the 74% of the Tinley Park residents that voted in favor of Term Limits had actually gone out and voted for the man trying to institute them, then he would have won. But I guess it was just too much of a hassle to go out on a chilly night and vote. It’s so much easier to just complain, criticize and name call. Oh, and all those so called “volunteers” that are getting sued, they are business people getting tax breaks and other “considerations” from the village. THAT, my dear TP residents is what is costing us more tax dollars than a few FOIA requests. In my opinion, too many people, both business owners and private citizens, have become financially dependent on Zabrocky remaining mayor and this has to stop. It’s good that someone is finally standing up to the established administration and shedding light on their actions. We should ALL do the same, unless of course we’re part of said administration. A Tinley Park Resident
Master of Reality February 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM
A couple things. Equating a vote for Eberhardt with a vote for term limits is misguided. I may agree with a certain aspect of a candidate's platform, but that doesn't mean I support the candidate overall. People may be for term limits but didn't support Eberhardt. The numbers are correct on the FOIA's. They aren't a few as you say, and if they aren't why would the village have had to hire an employee to deal with just the FOIA's from Tinley Sparks? Tax breaks? Name one town that doesn't do it. At this point it really is the only way to attract business development. After being one of the highest taxed states and watching businesses leave in droves, New York is now trying to attract them back. Start ups can operate tax free for ten years.
TP Resident February 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM
Please look for yourself. http://www.tinleypark.org/Archive/40 I'm sure it's well over $80,000 by now in FOIA requests by this man. One request cost over $8,000. Why? Because he is noisy. The man has nothing else to do with his time. Most of the requests are just dumb. Simply a waste of tax dollars. He is only pushing for term limits because he knows he doesn't have a chance in hell otherwise. The day this jerk is elected to a village board position is the day I move out of Tinley. If he can waste our money on FOIA imagine what he would waste our money on then.

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