STRANGER RANGER

GARBED IN WHITE HAT AND black mask, a disheveled-looking version of the Lone Ranger has stood patiently for six months outside the Bank One Tower hoping someone, anyone, will take notice. He carries a sign denouncing the law firm of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox as “forgers and perjurers” and “bribers and thieves.” Strong words for someone wearing a silly costume. But the get-up has people wondering: Who is that masked man?

He is Ted Horvitz, 61, who is still angry about being fired in 1991 from his job as a floor supervisor for American Foam Rubber Products. According to Horvitz, he was dismissed in retaliation for a stink he raised about the company’s alleged practice of telling employees they were covered by a health plan when they were not. After losing lawsuits against the company, Horvitz, acting as his own lawyer, sued Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, the firm that defended his former employer, accusing them of everything from paying off judges to altering court documents. In all five of his suits, Horvitz has either lost or seen the case dismissed.

“I got a pretty good screwing in court,” says Horvitz. That’s why he launched his one-man crusade. At first he griped without a costume. In March, he wrapped the county courthouse in yellow crime scene tape, Then he donned the mask, hoping the Lone Ranger could help his cause.

Bill Evans, executive director of VHK&K, denies any wrongdoing by his firm, and he has a handful of court decisions supporting his assertion, The attorneys have hired an off-duty police officer to provide additional security for the firm. But Horvitz says he will endure, even if it means selling all his possessions. And until he believes he has seen justice served, he won’t go the hi-ho Silver away.

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