Des Plaines Police commander gets six months for falsifying DUI stats

So, one-third of the entire Des Plaines police force are cheating liars who defrauded the taxpayers.  And they get to keep their jobs because there would be too many to replace.  Wow.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A former Des Plaines police commander who padded DUI arrest records so the department could get federal grant money was sentenced today to six months in prison.

Timothy Veit, 57, apologized in Chicago’s Dirksen U.S. Courthouse for his role in defrauding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Illinois Department of Transportation out of nearly $133,000 in public safety grant funding…

In addition to the six-month prison term, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan sentenced Veit to 200 hours of community service. His plea agreement with prosecutors also requires him to repay IDOT about $34,500 in restitution…

Veit, a Mount Prospect resident, was ordered to report to prison by Dec. 16.

He was initially charged with one felony count of making false statements, but he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of misappropriation of government funds. He could have been sentenced to up to a year in prison.

From 2009 to 2012, Veit padded the department’s total number of DUI arrests by 122 to conceal its failure to meet the requirements of an NHTSA-funded impaired-driving enforcement campaign administered by IDOT, according to prosecutors. As part of that scheme, he provided phony blood-alcohol content levels for those fictitious arrests. That enabled the department to collect almost $133,000 in federal money over those years, authorities said.

“We don’t think he did this to line his own pockets,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Church. But “what is abundantly clear is no one asked him to lie.”

When Veit received an email from an IDOT grant administrator in March 2012 that the department might be audited, he told his commanding officer he had “fudged the numbers,” prosecutors said.

Veit retired from the department three months later after 31 years on the force.

After a federal investigation, the city was barred from participating in NHTSA and IDOT grants until September 2015. It also agreed to pay $92,000 in restitution and penalties.

In all, 13 Des Plaines police officers, some of whom prosecutors said attended Thursday’s court hearing in an apparent show of support for Veit, got suspensions ranging from seven to 60 days for accepting overtime payments from the grant program for hours they didn’t work.

Des Plaines police Chief William Kuschner, who was hired after the fraud came to light, said the officers were not fired because they made up one-third of the city’s police force. Since the fraud was discovered, officers have had to work to earn the trust of residents again, he said.

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