City demands Chicago SWAT officers pay legal costs after labor lawsuit failed in court

Letters were sent to LEOs requesting they each pay $185 to account for $19,000 the city spent to fight a labor law violations case

By Ashley Silver

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration is insisting the 100 current and former Chicago SWAT officers that sued the city for violating labor standards owe the city money after a judge dismissed the lawsuit.

Officers filed the lawsuit after claims they were being forced to respond to calls during their off-hours without compensation. 

According to WGN News, Lightfoot’s law department is disseminating letters to all officers involved in the lawsuit, demanding they each pay $185 to account for the nearly $19,000 the city spent fighting the case. The officers were also threated with fees and told the amount owed would transition to a collections agency if they didn’t make payments by November 11.

Officer Bob Bartlett, a 15-year member of Chicago’s SWAT team, called the demand “100% vindictive.”

“We were fighting for our labor rights in a city that’s a labor city and you guys are punishing us,” Bartlett told WGN News. 

Bartlett and other SWAT officers are currently appealing the decision to stop the mayor’s recent request.

WGN reported Lightfoot denied knowing about the case when asked earlier this week.

RELATED: Louisville SWAT members' attorney to continue fighting for on-call backpay

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