Ross Radke


URBANA — A civil suit filed by a former member of the Ludlow Village Board against the village of Ludlow, Board President Steve Thomas and several other parties has been thrown out of U.S. District Court.

Judge Colin Stirlin Bruce dismissed all complaints filed by Ross Radke, 62, of 121 S. Church St., Ludlow, against the defendants July 8 and gave him 21 days to amend his complaint or the case would be dismissed with prejudice.

Radke failed to amend the case, resulting in its dismissal.

The complaint against Radke’s ex-wife, Deborah Roemer, was dismissed May 8.

Also originally named in the suit were Aaron Galloway; Robert M. Travers; the city of Ottawa and Ottawa Mayor Robert Eschblach.

Radke alleged the village of Ludlow “caused damage to my enterprise” and enacted unconstitutional ordinances and policies. He also alleged Thomas, as mayor, “personally participated in causing damage to my enterprise,” directing the police to deprive him and others of their civil rights.

He alleged Galloway, an attorney, “personally participated in causing injury to my enterprise” and “participated in mail fraud, wire fraud and other racketeering activities violating my civil rights.”

Livingston County Judge Robert M. Travers, according to the complaint, injured Radke’s enterprise and violated his rights through extortion and racketeering activity.

Radke alleged the city of Ottawa and Eschbach also damaged his enterprise through racketeering activity.

Radke made three claims — that the village of Ludlow conspired to violate his rights by passing an ordinance regarding sexual harassment and by investigating him; that an order of protection was entered against Radke in Livingston County and suggested the situation violated his rights and was the result of “racketeering activities”; and that Radke was charged with crimes while living in Ottawa, which was a conspiracy, and that other “acts of racketeering” violated his rights.

He was seeking $2 million in compensatory damages and was seeking punitive damages.

Attorneys for the defendants told the court Radke failed to provide sufficient facts to support any federal cause of action.

The court agreed with the defendants and said, “A complaint must give a defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”

The ruling said Radke’s “vague and conclusory statements are insufficient to do so, and thus they cannot survive the motions to dismiss.”

Radke remains in the Champaign County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond awaiting trial on criminal charges filed against him May 4 after he allegedly walked up to the car of a customer at Cleaner’s Express on Klein Avenue in Rantoul, told her not to get out and exposed what she believed was a handgun inside his coat pocket. Police said they found a loaded handgun in Radke’s coat pocket, two handgun magazines on him and three additional magazines in his belongings at the laundromat. Each magazine contained ammunition.

Radke is charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony that carries a prison term of one to three years in prison if convicted. He is also charged with possession of a firearm without a valid firearm owner’s identification card — a Class 3 felony that carries a sentence of two to five years in prison.

Radke’s beef with the village of Ludlow is due to his water being turned off to the motorhome where he had been living due to nonpayment of his water bill. He also objected to the village board adopting a sexual harassment ordinance that the state of Illinois required all municipal boards to adopt. He thought the ordinance was directed at him.

Radke filed the federal civil suit April 22 — about two weeks prior to his arrest on the weapons charges. He said he would represent himself in the case.

Radke served as a trustee on the Ludlow Village Board until May 6 when his term expired. He ran an unsuccessful candidacy for mayor to unseat Thomas in the April election and was soundly defeated. He did not seek election as trustee. He had been appointed to the board by Thomas March 5, 2018.