Wrongly imprisoned Logan says $10M will fund travel, house
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org January 15, 2013 9:13PM
Alton Logan, speaks to the media at his attorney's office, about a $10 million settlement with the city of Chicago, Tuesday, January 15, 2013. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: February 17, 2013 6:36AM
Alton Logan will smile big for the little picture that will go in his passport.
The little book represents a window into another world that was beyond reach for the 26 years he was imprisoned for murder.
On Tuesday, nearly five years after he was released from prison following proof that another man committed the crime, the city of Chicago agreed to pay Logan $10.25 million to settle a wrongful conviction lawsuit.
“Maybe I’ll go to the Bahamas,” Logan said Tuesday afternoon while considering a honeymoon destination and his first step off U.S. soil. “Getting a passport is on top of my agenda.”
He’s engaged to his prison pen pal, a woman named Jerry. “She helped me get through this ordeal.”
Logan plans to buy a new car, possibly a Cadillac or a Lincoln, and maybe go to a few White Sox games.
But he’d return the cash in a heart beat if he could get the middle portion of his life back.
“No amount of money can make up for the time I lost . . . but it will bring me a measure of happiness because it will allow me to live my life in a comfortable manner,” he said.
Logan currently rents an apartment in Bronzeville, but hopes to buy a house — maybe in Chicago, probably in the Midwest, he said. “Nothing too fancy, just some place I can be comfortable and not have to worry about nothing.”
He wants to visit Three Rivers, Mich., to go fishing with friends — a dream that often crossed his mind at night while incarcerated.
Since his release in 2008, Logan has survived on Social Security checks and whatever carpentry work he can get. Despite the cash infusion, Logan says he’ll still be looking for work every day.
Having children seems unlikely for Logan.
“At my age, my fiance would be changing the baby’s diaper and mine,” he joked.
When asked if he was worried about being constantly hit up for cash, Logan replied, “Not really, no. I know how not to answer my phone.”
In 1982 Logan, then 28, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of an off-duty Cook County correctional officer who’d been moonlighting as a security guard at a South Side McDonald’s restaurant.
In April 2008, the conviction was vacated after the two attorneys came forward with information that another man confessed to the murder years earlier. The attorneys said they’d been bound by an oath of confidentiality to remain silent, but were able to reveal the truth after the confessed murderer died in 2007.
Logan’s wrongful conviction lawsuit maintained that evidence that would have exonerated him was concealed from the Cook County State’s attorney’s under an alleged cover-up engineered by now-convicted former Area 2 Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Logan’s attorney, Jon Loevy, said the $10.25 million settlement was the city’s biggest ever payout resulting from a wrongful conviction suit.
Logan said his attorneys will receive about one third of the money.