Imprisoned former House Speaker Dennis Hastert shouldn’t have to honor a deal he made to pay one of his victims $3.5 million in hush money because the pact is unenforceable, his lawyers are reportedly scheduled to argue Monday.
The hearing, at an Illinois county courthouse, will be the first since Hastert’s lawyers asked a judge this month to dismiss the breach of contract lawsuit filed by a former student athlete, who wants Hastert to pay the $1.8 million balance, plus interest, of an out-of-court settlement the man said the two made several years ago, according to The Chicago Tribune .
The victim’s lawsuit was filed well after the statute of limitations and the man, identified in court records as “James Doe,” violated the terms of the contract when he disclosed Hastert’s decades-old sexual misconduct to authorities, Hastert’s lawyer John Ellis argued in a brief filed July 15 at Kendall County Circuit Court in Yorkville, Illinois, the Tribune reported.
The judge is not expected to immediately rule on Hastert’s request, according to the newspaper.
The breach of contract lawsuit was filed days before Hastert, 74, was sentenced in April to a 15-month prison term on federal banking violation charges related to the payments. Hastert admitted to abusing underage boys as a high school wrestling coach in the 1970s, years before he served in public office. Prosecutors said they had identified at least four victims — including the man who is now suing him — but the statute of limitations had expired on those cases.