A Cook County judge today dismissed the indictment against Chicago Police Officer John Haleas, the officer accused of writing numerous false drunken driving tickets.
Judge James Obbish ruled that prosecutors improperly used statements given by Haleas to Internal Affairs investigators looking into misconduct charges against him. A U.S. Supreme Court case prohibits statements from administrative disciplinary proceedings from being used against officers in criminal cases.
Haleas was charged in March 2008 with four counts of perjury, four counts of official misconduct and two counts of obstructing justice. He was stripped of his police powers.
In his ruling, Obbish noted that the internal affairs investigator involved in the case and the assistant state's attorney in charge of seeking the indictment gave differing versions of how Haleas' statement was handled during the investigation. An internal affairs sergeant said he informed then-Assistant State's Attorney David Navarro of the statement, which Haleas had no choice but to give in the internal probe of allegations he was making false DUI arrests.
But Navarro said he had carefully kept any information about the statement out of his case file in order to not taint the criminal investigation, according to Obbish. However, Obbish said he had no way to verify that claim because the state's attorney's office lost the file.
"There are consequences for losing evidence," Obbish said. He added that prosecutors had the burden to prove that nothing from Haleas' compelled statement was used to indict him, and without Navarro's file, they were unable to do so.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here, here, and here about former ChicagoTop DUI Cop John Haleas. Now comes the news that the charges are dismissed.
As one friend said, WTF! (yes, she's a lawyer and no she's never done criminal defense work). She's not the only some folks are already commenting about how Chicago Police Officer's get off lightly when charged criminally.
From the comments section at Chicagobreakingnews.com:
I wonder how long it will be before he goes back to work for the Chicago Police department? Do you think he will continue to arrest people for DUI?
Posted by Law Office of Ava George Stewart, P.C. at 6:39 PM