Rob Sherman is suing Buffalo Grove, which he alleges violated his civil rights by promoting religious events in its electronic newsletter.
The lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday, references an upcoming pig roast at Hope Lutheran Church in Long Grove. The event, which will also include children’s activities and live music, was posted in the Aug. 18 edition of Village E-News. The newsletter is sent by email to those who register on the village’s website.
On the sign-up page, Village E-News is described as “A weekly email highlighting Village Board action items, community events, development initiatives, and more.”
Sherman, a vocal atheist who lives in Buffalo Grove, said in the lawsuit that he “objects to his taxpayer funds and property being used to help a church to sell tickets to an event that is or may be a church fund-raiser, a church marketing event, or both, because promoting such an event is not a public purpose for the use of [his] taxpayer resources.”
The lawsuit goes on to say the village has used the electronic newsletter, bi-monthly Village News publication and outdoor message board near to promote other religious-related events.
Sherman said the civil rights violations caused him “emotional distress” and seeks $100,000 in damages, reimbursement for his legal expenses and assurance the village will cease promoting events with ties to religous organizations.
Also named in the suit, in their “official capacity only,” are Village President Jeff Braiman, Village Manager Dane Bragg and Village Clerk Janet Sirabian.
“We think it’s a baseless lawsuit,” Braiman said. “We will defend it in court and not in the media.”
Sirabian declined to comment on the suit. Bragg deferred comment to village attorney William Raysa, who said he has turned the matter over to the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency. The agency will appoint a lawyer to represent the village, he said.