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Suit Claims Officer Falsified DUI Claims

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As James Dean Jr. was leaving a police station on Chicago’s North Side after an arrest for driving on a suspended license in February 2007, he believed his troubles were over for the day.

According to his attorney, Dean was warned by a sergeant at the Town Hall police station near Wrigley Field to not drive again. Dean then asked if he could retrieve his coat from the car and the sergeant told him yes.

Dean’s attorney said that he got into the car and was ordered by Officer Richard Fiorito to move it. When Dean complied with the order, the officer switched on his squad car’s emergency lights and pulled Dean over, arresting him for making an illegal U-turn, driving on a suspended license, and driving under the influence, according to the suit Dean filed in federal court on February 24.

According to Dean, he would not have been initially released on a personal recognizance bond by police if he had been drunk, noting that his DUI arrest was only four minutes after he left the station. According to the suit, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office eventually dropped the charges.

Within the past year, there have been two other officers that have been the subject of internal police investigations for their DUI arrests.

According to sources, 59-year-old Joe D. Parker, an officer in the Chicago P.D.’s Traffic Enforcement Unit, has been placed on desk duty and prosecutors have moved for the dismissal of dozens of his DUI arrests.

Meanwhile, Cook County prosecutors have charged Officer John Haleas with perjury, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice. He has been accused of failure to take important steps in making a 2005 DUI arrest. According to prosecutors, he failed to perform a field-sobriety test and lied in his reports. As a result, more than 50 cases stemming from DUI arrests made by the 38-year-old have been dropped.

Dean’s attorney said that he believes officers have an incentive for making false DUI arrests: overtime from court appearances. He also believes they do it to receive recognitions from anti-DUI organizations like Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, which named Parker, Haleas, and Fiorito “top cops” in DUI arrests. AAIM said that Fiorito made 230 DUI arrests in 2006.
Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts
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