Anita Alvarez threatens Cook Co State's Attorney Foxx, author with lawsuit

BySarah J. Schulte WLS logo
Friday, May 4, 2018
Anita Alvarez threatens Cook Co State's Attorney Foxx, author with lawsuit
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and author Kelly Lester have been threatened with a lawsuit by former State's Attorney Anita Alvarez

Kim Foxx beat incumbent Anita Alvarez for Cook County State's Attorney more than two years ago, but the politicians continue to face off.

In the book, "No, My Place," Foxx alleged that while she served as Assistant State's Attorney under Alvarez, Alvarez ignored sexual harassment claims. Now, Alvarez has threatened to sue Foxx over those allegations.

"We think these false statements impacted her ability to practice law, find employment. It clearly affects her reputation in the community," said Alvarez's attorney, Eugene Hollander, of his client.

"No, My Place" recounts sexual harassment experienced by women in Illinois politics as told to former Daily Herald political reporter Kerry Lester.

In a February interview with ABC 7, Lester said she found Foxx's story the most compelling, particularly allegations that Foxx's efforts to get a high-ranking supervisor fired for sexual harassment were ignored.

"She finds out this man was very good friends with the State's Attorney, whatever she did to get this behavior noticed was ineffective," said Lester of Foxx's experience.

Alvarez has also threatened to sue Lester unless Foxx's statements in the book are retracted.

In a statement released Thursday, Lester wrote, "I accurately reported the statements Foxx made to me, statements which she has stood by. But the book is focused on the first person reflections of sexual harassment experiences of Illinois women working in government and politics, not on any disputes between the current and former State's Attorney."

Lester should have done more, Hollander said.

"She had an obligation to verify the truth and accuracy of statements with Ms. Alvarez, the First Assistant at the time and First Deputy, she never reached out to any of those people," said Hollander of Lester.

In a letter sent to Lester, Alvarez's attorney gave the author a few more weeks to retract the statements. If she does not, the lawsuit against Lester and Foxx will proceed, Hollander said.

Alvarez would seek more than $5 million dollars in damages.

Kim Foxx declined to comment.