JEFFERSON PARK — A defamation lawsuit filed against Ald. John Arena (45th) by a Chicago police officer who unsuccessfully challenged Arena's bid for re-election has been dismissed again by a Cook County judge, according to court records.
The lawsuit was prompted by seven mailings and one television advertisement paid for by Arena and three unions that supported him in the 2011 aldermanic election. The ads claimed Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido took money from a firm involved in the much-maligned 2009 parking meter privatization deal, and he would collect two city pensions if elected.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge James P. Callahan first dismissed Garrido's suit in January.
In February, Garrido asked Callahan to reconsider his decision to toss out the suit filed 10 days after the final votes were counted in 2011. It claimed Arena's "outright lies" damaged Garrido's reputation and hurt his career with the Police Department and as a lawyer.
The suit was initially dismissed and then revived by a state appeals court.
Garrido did not return phone messages Monday, nor did his attorney Michelle Truesdale.
David Arena, the alderman's brother and attorney, also did not return a phone message Monday.
In a statement posted on Reddit, Arena said he had paid more than $50,000 in legal fees to defend against Garrido's lawsuit, which he called "frivolous."
Garrido ran against Arena again this year, and Arena defeated him again last month, winning approximately 54 percent of the vote and a second term on the Chicago City Council.
Garrido has until June 11 to appeal the judge's decision.
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