Libertyville cop alleged to have given a pass to a Waukegan officer pulled over for DUI

From Patch:

Waukegan police officer was let off the hook instead of getting a DUI charge, according to police footage obtained by the Lake County News-Sun. The non-arrest isn’t the only recent example of local police going easy on each other.

On Sunday Nov. 12, 2017, soon before 3 a.m., Waukegan Officer Daniel Ramirez was pulled over on Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville for speeding. The Libertyville cop who pulled him over, Officer Richard Kelly, administered a breathalyzer test, which Ramirez failed with a .17, over twice the legal limit.

Ramirez didn’t have his driver’s license on him, footage shows, but did have a U.S. passport and a Waukegan police ID.

Ramirez attempted a breathalyzer a few times, the video shows. When the sample finally took, Kelly looked at the device and asked Ramirez if he could call for a ride.

“I hate to give the guy — He blew a 0.17,” an accompanying officer said in a phone call with dispatch, in audio obtained by the News-Sun. “We’re not going to give him a break if he’s claiming to be an officer and he’s not an officer anymore.”

Libertyville police called the Waukegan station to confirm that Ramirez was in fact an officer. When they confirmed it, they let him call an Uber home and parked his car for him, according to the News-Sun.

Ramirez was not charged, the News-Sun reports. His punishment consisted of a 40-hour unpaid suspension. Libertyville Officer Kelly was found not to have violated policies, but should be further trained.

Read the whole story here:  https://patch.com/illinois/vernonhills/s/gj3c4/libertyville-pd-let-waukegan-cop-off-the-hook-after-dui-report?utm_term=article-slot-1&utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Schaumburg Police Officer arrested for DUI after crash, refused breath test

A Schaumburg police officer with 28 years on the force resigned after being arrested and charged with misdemeanor DUI after crashing into a tree.  Credit to his fellow officers for not giving him a pass.

According to news reports, the officer refused to take a blood, breath or urine test.  I wonder what he learned in his 28 years of policing that lead him to make that decision?

You can read the entire story here:  https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/schaumburg-police-officer-charged-with-dui-resigns-after-28-years/

Elgin Police Officer charged with off-duty DUI

From the Chicago Tribune:

An Elgin police officer is hospitalized in critical condition following an off-duty motorcycle crash Thursday in which he was charged with drunken driving, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Kenneth W. Ericson, 49, of the 300 block of Cassidy Lane, Elgin, was driving a 2013 Kawasaki motorcycle eastbound on Baseline Road, near Glidden Road, just after 3 p.m. when he failed to yield at a stop sign and collided with a 2009 Toyota Camry driven by Mark A. Sparacino, of Rochelle, a sheriff’s office release said.

Ericson was airlifted to OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford by Lifeline Helicopter. Sparacino was uninjured in the crash, according to the report.

Ericson was charged with driving under the influence and failure to yield, according to the report.

Lake County Sheriff pleads guilty to making false statement in a DUI hearing

From the Chicago Tribune (Jim Newton reporting):

A former Lake County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of court charges Wednesday for lying under oath during a misdemeanor DUI hearing last year in Lake County Circuit Court.

As a result of the plea, the state dropped felony perjury charges against 28-year-old Justin Hill, of Kenosha, and he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term that was stayed as long as he completes other conditions of his sentence.

Hill also was sentenced to a period of conditional discharge during which he must perform 100 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and donate $500 to Lake County CrimeStoppers.

The sentence was handed down by Kane County Judge David Kliment after Lake County judges recused themselves from the case because the charges stemmed from proceedings in Lake County Circuit Court.

According to prosecutors, Hill was charged for lying under oath while he was being cross-examined by the defendant in the misdemeanor DUI case, in which the defendant was acting as his own attorney.

Defense attorney Thomas Briscoe said after the plea deal that Hill admitted he lied about whether he had contacted or attempted to contact the defendant in the case prior to the DUI hearing.

Briscoe said that Hill maintains he lied to protect an informant or informants related to another case he was doing on his own without the knowledge of the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said Wednesday that Hill’s position as a deputy was terminated June 2

…Sheriff’s office officials said inconsistencies were allegedly discovered in Hill’s testimony during a Nov. 2 civil court DUI hearing on the potential statutory summary suspension of a DUI defendant’s driving license….

Read the entire story here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-lake-deputy-perjury-plea-st-0914-20170913-story.html

Why did Sycamore police not charge an Elgin cop with DUI?

Questions are being raised about the unusual treatment given to an Elgin police officer who was arrested, but not charged with, DUI by Sycamore police.

From the Northwest Herald:

Police Chief Glenn Theriault has been on administrative leave since April 10 as the city investigates why an Elgin police officer arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence was released without charges.

Records obtained by the Daily Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act show a Sycamore officer was building a driving under the influence case against Elgin Police Sgt. Mark Whaley after an early morning traffic stop Saturday, April 8. Whaley, who has been a police officer for almost 23 years, was handcuffed and driven to the police station, where he was processed. Theriault, who worked with Whaley on the Elgin police force, also went to the police station that night.

Whaley later was released without even a traffic ticket because of lack of evidence, according to the police report.

The report shows Whaley, 46, declined field sobriety tests and declined to provide a breath sample at the Sycamore police station. It does not say whether Whaley was issued a DUI ticket or read the “warning to motorist” that could have triggered a suspension of his license for a year for refusing chemical testing under Illinois law.

Cellphone records show Theriault had three early morning phone conversations with an Elgin police commander and later helped to ensure that a $500 administrative towing fee was waived for Whaley, bypassing a hearing process prescribed by city code.

“Tough position for you and all last night,” read a text sent by Theriault hours later to the arresting officer, Luke Kampmeier. “I’m thinking of the rock-and-glass houses story.”

“A valuable experience for me, albeit unpleasant,” Kampmeier replied. “Tonight we will stick to parking tickets.”

,,,

The episode began around 1:40 a.m. Saturday, April 8. In his report, Kampmeier – who joined the force out of college in 2014 – wrote that he stopped a silver 2005 Ford F-150 pickup on Somonauk Street near High Street after he saw the driver almost cause a traffic crash at the intersection of State and California streets. Reasons given for the stop were noted as “fail to signal, overtake on right, no front license plate.”

In his report, Kampmeier wrote that the driver, Whaley, smelled strongly of alcohol. His speech was “thick-tongued,” his eyes glassy and bloodshot, his movements “slow and deliberate.”

Whaley told Kampmeier he had recently dropped off his wife and child downtown, then changed his story to say he was in the area for training and had one beer in Sycamore before driving, according to Kampmeier’s report. A story by the Daily Herald about Whaley saving a boy’s life with CPR in 2011 said he lived near DeKalb at the time.

After Whaley refused field sobriety tests, Kampmeier arrested him on suspicion of DUI, records show.

A second officer, Blake Powers, a 2016 police academy graduate, searched Whaley’s vehicle and found an unopened bottle of Miller Lite near the passenger seat, according to police reports.

You can read the whole story here.  Normally, in this situation, the person will be charged with DUI.  Often in Sycamore, the police will seek a warrant to obtain a blood draw.  Getting released without being charged is a rare gift indeed.  We should all be so lucky.

Lake Co. Sheriff charged with perjury for testimony in DUI case

From the Chicago Tribune (reported by Jim Newton):

Deputy Sheriff Justin Hill, 28, of Kenosha, was indicted by a Lake County grand jury Wednesday on three felony counts of perjury, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office…

According to Sgt. Christopher Covelli of the Sheriff’s Office, inconsistencies were allegedly discovered in Hill’s testimony during a court hearing on the potential statutory summary suspension of a DUI defendant’s driver’s license. The testimony was allegedly given by Hill on Nov. 2.

Covelli and Jim Elliot, deputy chief of the Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards, said the Sheriff’s Office is working with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine whether any other cases in which Hill was involved could be impacted.

According to Elliot, each DUI case in which Hill was the arresting officer or was involved would be reviewed individually, and the State’s Attorney’s Office would decide whether each case would move forward based on all evidence involved.

Elliot said he does not believe there will be any blanket dismissal of cases in which Hill was involved. He added that he was unsure how many cases were to be reviewed.

A spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s Office said Wednesday the number of cases was not immediately available, but would soon be released.

Following the Nov. 2 hearing, the Sheriff’s Office was notified Nov. 23 that “inconsistencies with Hill’s testimony (that) potentially resulted in perjury” had been discovered, according to Covelli.

Hill was placed on administrative leave and relieved of his police powers following an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards, Covelli said.

Another case of a police officer arrested for DUI who refuses all tests

As a DUI defense attorney, people always ask me, “should I perform the tests?”  And my answer is, do what police officers do.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Woodstock police officer faces arraignment in March for driving under the influence after he crashed his pick-up truck in Round Lake Beach about two weeks ago.

The officer was identified as Michael E. Niedzwiecki, 29, of Lake Villa, who was charged with DUI and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, according to a Round Lake Beach Police Department report.

The accident occurred Feb. 11 at 1:49 a.m. on Hainesville Road when Niedzwiecki’s 2007 Ford F250 pick-up went out of control while traveling northbound on a curve close to Clarendon Drive and struck a telephone pole, according to the report, which added that power lines knocked down by the crash blocked northbound traffic on Hainesville between Rollins Road and Clarendon.

According to the report, Niedzwiecki told one of the officers at the scene that he forgot about the sharp curve to the left in the roadway, and that is why he lost control of his truck. The report added that both Niedzwiecki and a woman who identified herself as his wife went to a nearby McDonald’s after the accident and before police arrived to get help.

The officer wrote in the report that Niedzwiecki was slurring his words and had glassy bloodshot eyes and an unsteady gait. “I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” the officer wrote.

When an officer asked Niedzwiecki to do a field sobriety test, Niedzwiecki refused and when asked to submit to a breath test, which he also refused, according to the report, and he was placed under arrest for DUI and was also cited for failure to reduce speed. When asked to make a statement about the accident, Niedzwiecki refused again, the report states.

According to the report, at one point, Niedzwiecki showed an officer his Woodstock police officer badge and identification card.

Read the whole story here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-woodstock-officer-charged-dui-st-0225-20170224-story.html