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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

O’Hare Is Vulnerable to Attack, Ex-Official Says

(CN) - A former security chief at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports was fired for warning about potentially "catastrophic" security threats, including terrorist attacks, the ex-official claims in Cook County Court. James Maurer says airport officials blamed his firing on a bogus charge that he assaulted a female co-worker.

Maurer claims Chicago City Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino and her staff "continually ignored, dismissed and shunned" him in his efforts "to make O'Hare Airport a safer facility."

"One particularly egregious and potentially catastrophic example Maurer raised was the parking of unscreened, non-governmental vehicles in the secure side of the airport," the lawsuit states.

Maurer says he raised "many such security issues," only to have them "summarily dismissed and ignored." In a footnote, he cites the "sensitive nature of this information" in refusing to divulge details on "the myriad of other security threats."

"The situation remains the same today," he says.

Maurer says he was falsely accused of assaulting an airport executive last September, an incident that gave the airport a pretext for firing him.

He claims that the co-worker made up the allegation, and that at least two witnesses verified that no assault had taken place.

Maurer has sued Andolino and the city of Chicago for retaliatory firing, and accuses the alleged assault victim of malicious prosecution, abuse of process and slander per se.

He demands more than $2 million, plus past and future wages and benefits.

His attorney is Keith Hunt.

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