Chicago to settle case against “Top Cop” officer who falsified DUI cases

From the Chicago Tribune:

The City Council Finance Committee on Monday recommended paying out $525,000 to settle two cases of alleged police misconduct, one involving a cop stripped of his police powers who still works for the department.

If approved by the full council on Wednesday, the city would pay $325,000 to settle a case involving Officer John Haleas, who was considered the department’s top enforcer of drunken driving laws before prosecutors accused him of falsifying police reports.

In the case, Julio Martinez Jr. accused Haleas of beating him and falsely accusing him of driving under the influence after handcuffing him to a bar in March 2006, said Leslie Darling, a top city attorney. Martinez, a hemophiliac, suffered a head injury that required medical treatment that cost $106,000, Darling said.

In 2008, Haleas was stripped of his police powers. Last year, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice, years after a felony case against him fell apart. He served a one-day suspension and now works in the police records department earning nearly $81,000 a year, which Ald. Willie Cochran, 20th, called “unacceptable.”

About 25 lawsuits were filed against Haleas and the city, and some were settled and others dismissed, Darling said.

Aldermen also recommended paying $200,000 to settle a case filed by a man who was run over by a police squad car chasing him after a robbery in May 2009. Officers at first said RL Johnson fell, but that was inconsistent with his injuries, Darling said. A video recording of the incident is missing, she added.

The City paid $350,000 last year because of another top cop.  I wrote about that here.

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