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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

DEFAM, Esparza cross examined [Esparza]

I attended the trial of Paul Esparza v. Eugene Moore, Askia Abdullah and David Sharp. What can I say?

For background see Maywood Herald (Kevin Beese).

The suit alleges Moore, Sharp and Abdullah distributed literature that said Esparza was a felon and committed home repair fraud. The defense denies responsibility for the flyer.

I arrived and the trial went on break. I introduced myself to Paul Esparza. One of his daughters got all pissy with me about Proviso Probe. Esparza called me sleazy.

Moore's attorney, whom I believe is paid for by the insurance company, grilled Esparza about Christina Nowakowski. Esparza gave answers that were plainly incomplete if not outright dishonest.

When asked about Nowakowski's duties at the Recorder of Deeds office, he said stuff like, "I have no idea what she did."

Esparza said Nowakowski left because, "She blamed herself for everything that happened [including losing the Maywood house to foreclosure and losing her job]."

Esparza said, "I wouldn't waste five cents on Gene Moore."

Esparza acknowledged knowing Moore for over 30 years. I thought he was vague and evasive about their past political exploits.

Moore's attorney kept asking if Esparza knew of Moore doing an attack flyer like the one attacking Esparza. Esparza had a hard time saying "yes" because he said he and Nowakowski produced all Moore's stuff for a couple years. Esparza wouldn't get much sympathy from the jury if he admitted to doing the same thing.

But Esparza did claim that on the West Side Moore had done something similar that didn't involve Esparza.

The defense attorneys also challenged Esparza to explain how he was harmed. "My votes dropped quite a bit." (The results in the election were Moore 47%, Yarbrough 41% and Esparza 12%.)

Esparza said there was only one person he could name to corroborate that the flyer harmed him. Esparza explained the jury wouldn't hear from this person because, "Jimmy's too old."

Much of Esparza's grievance is based on, "I've never been found guilty of that."

The flyer portrays Esparza as a felon, but Esparza was never convicted.

There's also a gun charge in the flyer. Esparza says it's a different Paul Esparza. "It might say 'Paul Esparza' but it's not me.... I've never charged with a gun charge."

The flyer is pretty sleazy in that it mentions rape, pedophilia, fraud, elder abuse and moral terpitude as examples of things elected officials shouldn't have done. The flyer makes an effort to plant a seed against Esparza.

The last bit of questioning was about the charges Esparza committed fraud against Louis Bellamy. Esparza acknowledged that the charges were dropped when Bellamy was paid. Esparza claimed, "Moore gave me the money to pay off the attorney." I became a little confused about want attorney got paid and for what. Esparza acknowledged committing the underlying offense, but feels that he was wronged by the flyer saying he was found criminally culpable.

29 Comments:

  • After the trial adjourned Esparza said to his attorney and a friend, "I can't wait for Yarbrough to carry this thing."

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 3:04 PM, January 24, 2006  

  • One possibility I considered was that Moore solicited Esparza to get into the committeeman's race to split the opposition vote.

    And that creating a cause for a defamation suit was a way to get the insurance company to foot the bill.

    I consider this scenario highly unlikely because I don't see much in the way of damages in this case. Esparza could have gotten twice as many votes and he still would have lost.

    Esparza will have a hard time making the case for monetary damages because he actually did the stuff in the criminal complaints (minus the firearms violation). Whoever wrote the flyer shouldn't have said Esparza was a felon, but I can't see attaching much value to the damages.

    The Moore, Sharp, Abdullah defense likewise seems a bit of a stretch. If the lit didn't have Moore listed as the endorsed committeeman, maybe they could implicate the Yarbrough campaign or one of Esparza's pissed-off relatives.

    According to the Esparza's lawyer, the return address was a PO box owned by Abdullah.

    It seems the most likely explanation is that the flyer was produced by Moore's camp.

    Prediction: verdict in favor of the plaintiff with damages awarded under $500.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 3:13 PM, January 24, 2006  

  • The judge presiding over the courtroom is James Varga. He's among the judges that filed suit about when judges file to be considered for retention. He won the suit. See Chicago Tribune.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:04 PM, January 25, 2006  

  • The judge seems to be annoyed at the attorneys for taking so much time.

    There are three defense attorneys, one for each defendent.

    Moore's attorney got a couple good shots this morning. He pointed out that Esparza's letter asking for an apology was dated March 5, 2002, the same day the lawsuit was filed. This was used to discredit the claim that when Esparza started he merely wanted an apology.

    The other shot Moore's attorney scored was pointing out that Esparza's pleading doesn't ask for damages for emotional distress. It only asks for money for causing Esparza to lose the committeeman's race, a position that doesn't pay anything.

    Esparza's attorney asked to amend the complaint. Judge Varga didn't rule on the point.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:09 PM, January 25, 2006  

  • I got a kick out of Moore saying about placing yardsigns without the homeowners permission that he "would never do that."

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:14 PM, January 25, 2006  

  • I did disagree with the judge disallowing the question about Christina Nowakowski's federal lawsuit against Moore for being improperly fired for political reasons.

    I thought his logic of not getting into the details of other lawsuits was sound, but the jury should be allowed to know the outcome. This is especially true if Moore is going to be allowed to accuse Nowakowski of sabotaging the computer system without providing evidence.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:17 PM, January 25, 2006  

  • Esparza made himself look pretty amoral when questioned about Nowakowski being fired from Proviso Township.

    Esparza blamed Moore for orchestrating the firing. Sharp's attorney--who seems one of the two most clever of the four attorneys involved--asked Esparza if she was fired for improperly claiming Esparza as her husband for benefits purposes.

    Esparza responded by saying, "Gene Moore was the one who knew we weren't married" (or words to that effect).

    Esparza blames more for the consequences of being held to the truth. Apparently Esparza thinks that he should be able to derive the benefits of a lie and that it's wrong to expose the truth if it hurts him.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:22 PM, January 25, 2006  

  • The defense seems to be pushing the theory someone else--maybe Christina Nowakowski--produced the flyer in question.

    I think this is a stupid defense. The piece has a return address that's a PO box belonging to Abdullah. I suppose Nowakowski could have got this info, but it seems unlikely.

    The insurance company and Moore have somewhat divergent interests. Moore wants to minimize the political damage. The insurance company wants to minimize the economic damage.

    If Moore, Sharp and Abdullah copped to the flyer, but said it was consistent with past hardball tactics, plus Esparza didn't suffer any real harm, I expect there would be an exceedingly low settlement.

    But Moore, Sharp and AA want to be able to say they didn't do it. If the jury rules in favor of Esparza they're planning on spinning it that the jury got it wrong.

    So, the insurance company is kinda screwed. But they are screwed because they took a shady character as a client, so I guess it's the revenge of the free market.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:28 PM, January 25, 2006  

  • Closing arguments start at 10:00 AM Thursday.

    Here's what I would push for if on the jury.

    I would find in favor of Esparza, but award a low level of damages.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:24 AM, January 26, 2006  

  • It's with the jury.

    I'm sticking with a judgment for the plaintiff with a low damage amount.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:31 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • Thanks Carl. Let us know the verdict.

    By Anonymous interested, at 2:04 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • If Esparza gets any money will he ask CHRISTINA'S mother & sisters to pick up her personal items? I hear there are over 90 boxes. I am ready to pick them up and hold them for my sister so as to keep them from going to charity.

    By Anonymous szainelli, at 6:45 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • This site is not about Chris, stick to the Nowakowski site for that!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • This whole story going on right now with the putting up of yard signs illigally,and bailing out his ignorant cronie just further proves that Moore is nothing but a crooked politican. I personally do hope Karen Yarbarough does take the committeeman spot from him this time around! Didn't Carl say that Moore said he never puts up yard signs without permission? Now we see what truth was in that comment! Heres a good point If Gene has so much pull and support in this community, then why would this incident have even happened? Lookes like Moore is losing his grip! I just think its about time Proviso Township wakes up and kicks this scum to the street where he belongs. And no longer lets this shady man have influence over the political direction of this township!

    By Anonymous ProvisoResident, at 7:07 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • I hear Esparza is endorsing Yarbourogh for committemen. Is this true Carl? If this is so, I have always supported the Esparza family. I know they have alot of support in Proviso Township, if this is so, please let me know cause I will support Karen
    Yarbourogh on behalf of the Esparza's, because of all that Gene Moore has done to try to destroy the Esparza family.

    By Anonymous Voting Family in Proviso Township (Hispanics United), at 7:31 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • Yesterday Paul Esparza said he would be supporting Yarbrough in the committeeman race.

    Esparza dislikes Moore and thinks that Moore wouldn't be where he is without the help of Esparza.

    Esparza told me a story about how Moore screwed up his nominating petitions for committeeman the first time. Moore's first petitions said "State Rep Committeeman" which is close to "State Central Committeeman" which is not the office Moore wanted. Esparza helped Moore identify and correct the problem by the filing deadline.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 8:29 AM, January 27, 2006  

  • I am responding to the anonymous telling the missing Christina's own mother to stay off this site. Does it make any sense to post a message for an Esparza on a Nowakowski site? Come on, let's get real here. Also, what ever happened to the True Family with all the love they had for Chris. All of the messages that were on there have all been deleted. I hope that the residents see all the political corruption with the elected officials. Let's make a change for the better. Be educated in the electorial process. Judge the canidates on their personal lives in addition to their political lives. Look how family is treated. Is this right?

    By Anonymous voter passing through, at 11:46 AM, January 27, 2006  

  • dear voter,

    IMO...I can see where the family is coming from, what does a monitary ammountin a lawsuit have to do with Chris's personal belongings? I really do not think Chris's daughter's or grandchildren will discard her personal items. A good point was made tho, how long do they need to be held onto if she is not going back? A line has to be drawn somewhere.

    By Anonymous watcher, at 12:04 PM, January 27, 2006  

  • I was outside the courtroom today.

    Paul Esparza took a phone call. He claimed it was his lawyer with an offer from the Moore, Sharp and Abdullah side. Esparza said he rejected the offer because he wants to have a verdict that shows that he was wronged.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:43 PM, January 27, 2006  

  • when will this Bribe-taking, Decaying so called Corruption come to and end? Tax payers pay enough tax's already, we don need another tax increase due to stupity. Give the man a $1.00 and lets stop this now

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 PM, January 27, 2006  

  • hey i didn't know taxpayers pay for attorney's?? where do i sign up?

    By Anonymous i want to know, at 2:46 PM, January 27, 2006  

  • who the hell cares about any of this anyway? corruption at it's best.

    By Anonymous lets move on, at 3:13 PM, January 27, 2006  

  • I say give him a cup and have him stand by Walgreens and beg for pity.

    By Anonymous fed up with corruption, at 3:16 PM, January 27, 2006  

  • Christina Nowakowski,
    I have been told by the web site that you sisters are interested in all your personal items and memories. They are more than welcome to all your personal items like your jewelry boxes, jewelry, clothes, cookie jars and countless other things. I could not mention your stuff like your Christmas memories. I feel there must be 160 boxes and bags. So if you want, Sue, Jan and your mother, to take possession of this. I have no problem with it. They can contact me at contact me at chrystmasjoi42@hotmail.com. They have until Feb. 3rd because we are in the process of moving.
    Paul Esparza
    P.S.
    Your family does not approve of you using the name Esparza, since we never got married.

    By Blogger grandkids32, at 1:25 PM, January 28, 2006  

  • let me clarify what I just stated, as long as you have written permisson from Chris Nowakowski and a court order, you can take posession of her personal items.

    Paul Esparza

    By Anonymous Paul, at 1:50 PM, January 28, 2006  

  • Welcome to Proviso Probe, Mr. Paul Esparza.

    Feel free to contribute.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 4:34 PM, January 28, 2006  

  • There's more than a seed...it's a bomb.

    By Anonymous aseedagainstesparza, at 5:06 PM, January 31, 2006  

  • Chris My Love,

    I'd like to let you know that all of our friends came though for us. They worked very hard and quietly put the word out not to vote for Gene Moore and to support Karen Yarbrough. They were successful in getting Yarbrough the 4,000 votes she needed. Moore has done everything to hurt our family, and because of that, he is no longer the committeeman of Proviso Township. I promised you 4 years ago this would happen, and I make this promise to you now; The wheel will turn full circle next year. For everyone that was involved with hurting our family with their lies and fabricated stories; it will all end in the next primary election. I've been meeting with all our friends downtown and they are very supportive of our family, and are very disappointed in the path that Moore and his cohorts have chosen, by turning the political arena into his own personal vendetta. Everything is okay,
    It's time to plant your garden, Spring is here.

    All My Love,
    Paul

    By Anonymous Paulie, at 4:16 PM, March 29, 2006  

  • Askia Abdullah is the biggest a..h... I have ever met in my life. Even after he had been disbarred, he kept on claiming he was a lawyer and put up an air of importance. He is the biggest crook.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:16 AM, April 05, 2007  

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