The city of Chicago is currently embroiled in litigation over the conduct of its soon-to-be former Department of Aviation commissioner. In 2011, the Department of Aviation entered into a four-year, $12 million contract with a landscaping outfit to provide landscaping services at its airports. In the spring of 2013, according to the landscaper, the city undertook efforts to cause the landscaper to breach its contract.

The landscaper claims the city started to issue new “requirements” that were not provided for under the contract, one of which was a payment of $100,000. The landscaper did not pay this “fee” and litigation ensued. The basis of the litigation is what makes it interesting. The landscaper is claiming civil conspiracy. In its claim, the landscaper alleges that the commissioner, as well as other city officials, conspired together to bring the landscaper’s contract to an end so that they could replace the landscaper with another firm.

Actions like this are not uncommon in the business world. The difference here is that the landscaper has stood up for itself.