Judge Rules Some E-mails Must Be Provided In Libel Case Filed By DeKalb Police Chief

Dec 13, 2017

A DeKalb County judge ruled on an e-mail subpoena Wednesday in a libel suit by the DeKalb Police chief against a Crystal Lake man.

File photo: Thomas Scherschel, who is Thomas Salvi's attorney, fills in a court order during an Aug. 30, 2017, hearing in the libel case between Salvi and DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery.
Credit Katie Finlon / WNIJ

DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery sued Dr. Thomas Salvi for more than $300,000 last year. Salvi sent e-mails to then-mayor John Rey claiming Lowery was an “aggressive thug” and “fraud” and should be fired.

Lowery’s attorney previously filed the subpoena requesting Salvi’s employer to provide all e-mails sent or received by him since May 2013. Salvi's lawyer filed a motion to block the subpoena due to privacy concerns for his patients.

Judge William Brady ruled that Salvi’s legal team only needs to produce some e-mails:

“We’d require to turn over any e-mails wherein the plaintiff is mentioned by name or position,” Brady said.

Lowery also claimed that he developed medical conditions due to stress from the alleged defamation. Salvi’s lawyer Thomas Scherschel said in court that he had no idea of Lowery’s claimed heart problems until Lowery submitted necessary court documents that included that claim.

“And so then we obviously had to get the records to see if that could possibly be true, or if it could possibly be related to a defamation claim,” Scherschel said.

Salvi’s legal team also says pursuing medical records was a waste of time and money after Lowery’s claim. They say that’s because e-mails sent to Lowery came more than a year before his documented health issues and about six months after.

Judge Brady also said a motion for sanctions against Lowery’s legal team will be further considered next year after hearing both side’s arguments.