First, Chicago police officer John Haleas was found to be fabricating DUI cases last April (and currently faces related felony criminal charges), then earlier this week the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Chicago police officer Joe Parker stands accused of doing much the same. And today the Chicago police face yet another black eye - Chicago police officer Richard Fiorito faces a federal lawsuit alleging he, too is ready to make up a DUI case from thin air.
To be sure, this is not a good week for the CPD, and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez cannot be very pleased to have to deal with this in her first months in office.
Probably more miserable tonight is embattled Superintendant of Chicago Police Jody Weis, who just a few days ago, refused to comply with an order by U.S. Magistrate Maria Valdez requiring the Department turn over information about officers with multiple complaints. Talk about bad timing!
Inexplicably, Weis, who is sworn to uphold the Consitution, and to protect the public, argued that turning over the information would “compromise officers’ performance, threaten safety, reduce morale and improperly impugn many officers’ otherwise well-deserved good reputations.”
Superintendant Weis - given the accusations against officers Haleas, Parker and Fiorito, don't you think that not turning over the information does more to "threaten" public safety? Shouldn't you be concerned that the actions of these officers "reduce morale" of their fellow officers? Isn't it time for you to act to protect the public from official misdconduct? Doesn't the act of sheltering officers repeatedly accused of misconduct "impugn many officers' otherwise well-deserved good reputations?"
DUI is punishable in Illnois by up to 364 days in jail and up to $2500 in fines plus costs. Defendants stand to lose their licenses, thousands of dollars, their freedom, their reputations, and in some cases their jobs. Stop playing hide the ball - Chicago police officers need to know their credibility and professionalism is fundamental to the performance of their duties and is not subject to compromise.