Click here to view the complaint as a pdf.
By Jim Hagerty
Former anchorman Eric Wilson has filed a lawsuit against WREX-TV, two months after he was suddenly let go from the NBC affiliate.
According to the civil complaint filed in Winnebago County 17th Judicial Circuit Court March 17 by Attorney Troy Haggestad of WilliamsMcCarthy, Wilson is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. The station, WREX Television, LLC, was served with the complaint March 21.
Wilson was fired Wednesday, Jan. 29, after 19 years on the air.
“While I will not go into detail about what happened, I can say it was not my choice,” Wilson posted on Facebook Monday, Feb. 3. “However, I believe this change in my life may work out best for me, my family and particularly my health.
“I’m not from Rockford but I’ve lived here for 20 years. It’s home now. I’ve made a lot of friends over those two decades. I’ve sort of grown up on TV and shared many life moments there: my marriage, the birth of my daughter, earning my pilot’s certificate.”
Aside from notification that his employment was effective immediately, Wilson clams he was not given a valid reason for being fired.
“On Jan. 29, 2014, WREX’s station manager, John Chadwick, handed Wilson the termination notice attached as Exhibit 2,” the lawsuit reads. “The termination notice states as follows: ‘Pursuant to 4.1 of the Talent Agreement between WREX and you, Eric Wilson, this letter will serve as written notice to you of termination of your employment for cause effective immediately.’ The purported ’cause’ is not specified in the termination notice.”
The day after Wilson was fired, Chadwick said parting with the popular anchorman was “an important step to best serve the people of Rockford.”
A hearing is scheduled for Friday, June 18, at 9 a.m., in front of Judge Eugene Doherty.