On Monday, two men filed lawsuits on allegations of police corruption against the city of Chicago after being released from prison in separate cases that unraveled when evidence surfaced showing that they had been set up by cops.
Armando Serrano, one of the men who filed a lawsuit, spent 23 years behind bars for the 1993 slaying of Rodrigo Vargas which was investigated by Detective Reynaldo Guevara, who is accused of coercing witnesses and framing innocent people in dozens of cases.
The other lawsuit Monday was filed by Lionel White, whose 2006 drug conviction was dismissed in December when lawyers revealed that he was arrested while shamed former CPD Sergeant Ronald Watts was under investigation for police corruption, CBS Chicago reported.
Serrano and co-defendant Jose Montanez, who has not filed a suit, were released last year when a judge dismissed their 55-year sentences after an Illinois Appellate Court ruled that Guevara had forced the two primary witnesses in the case to testify against them.
In another instance managed by Guevara, Roberto Almodovar was released from prison last week after serving 23 years for murder.
White contended that Watts and another officer broke into his girlfriend’s apartment without a warrant, beat him up and planted drugs on him. He spent over two years in prison before a judge threw out the verdict.
Watts, who oversaw officers at the Ida B. Wells housing complex on the South Side of the city, was sentenced to 22 months behind bars in 2013 for ripping off a drug carrier who was an FBI informant.
Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx agreed in February to investigate the hundreds of convictions that relied on evidence from Watts and his subordinates.
Both men are seeking an unidentified amount of damages.