This Chicago DUI lawyer is going to take an educated guess. Her educated guess is that DUI arrests will increase in Chicago. Do you want to know why?
I talked to a prosecutor today and he confirmed what I saw today. Officer Richard Fiorito is back. You may recall I posted here, here, and here about Officer Fiorito. He was a Top DUI Cop for the City. Then last spring his honors and reputation were tarnished with allegations of false arrests for DUI. No criminal charges were ever filed against him and he should be back off of desk assignment soon.
On Monday afternoon, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced that she was taking a pass on criminally prosecuting a Chicago police officer who currently faces 34 federal lawsuits alleging that he cooked up phony DUI charges in a ploy to collect tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay for appearing at court dates.The problem isn’t Officer Fiorito, in particular, but the loss of public trust when viewing several incidents involving an array of officers where the arrests are challenged.
After a high-profile campaign of public protests, last year Officer Richard Fiorito was finally put on desk duty and prohibited from testifying in his DUI arrest cases.
*** On two separate occasions, his arrest reports showed deaf drivers failing verbal sobriety tests - duh.
*** A particularly laughable case - if it wasn't so outrageous - was the alleged drunken driving case of black, gay motorist James Dean. After spending an hour an half at the Town Hall police station, Dean walked out of the station and a few minutes later was arrested for DUI by Fiorito. Now, unless cops at the Town Hall Station are in the habit of hosting keggers, Fiorito's arrest report once again was objective evidence of perjury.
Alvarez's clearing of Fiorito is not the first time the State's Attorneys Office has bungled of cases of cops allegedly pimping DUI arrests to earn overtime:
*** Officer Joe D. Parker wrote the fourth highest number of DUI tickets in the city in 2006, but then successful lawsuits for false arrest started piling up and dozens of his DUI cases were tossed as video footage from his squad car contradicted his arrest reports. But after costing the City tens of thousands of dollars in lawsuits and overtime, the State's Attorneys Office declined to criminally prosecute Parker.
*** Officer John Haleas was honored several times for making the most drunk driving arrests in Illinois. But in 2008 Officer John Haleas was charged with perjury, official misconduct and obstructing justice. More than 50 of his DUI arrest cases were tossed. But the Andy of Mayberry prosecution by the State's Attorney's Office allowed Haleas to walk. As the Tribune reported last November, "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." Oops, they ignored a minor precedent, a mere Supreme Court ruling!