Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oak Lawn Building Inspector John T. Hickey busted by Oak Lawn Police for DUI

An Oak Lawn man who works as an building inspector for the village was charged March 3 with driving under the influence of alcohol, police said. John T. Hickey, 43, 5420 W. Otto Ave., also was charged with failing to signal, making an improper turn and speeding at 12:33 a.m. after he was stopped at 99th Place and Central Avenue, according to police.

Hickey swerved within the lane several times as he drove west on 103rd Street, according to reports. He did not come to a complete stop at a red light on Central and swerved between the lanes as he drove north, police said. He later told the arresting officers,"Kiss me I'm F'ing Irish!"


Anonymous said...

That Officer is going to get fired. Remember the other goofball heroin junkie Officer that was shaking down mexicans for a few hundred dollars throw away your career?

A rookie Oak Lawn police officer accused of shaking down Hispanic immigrant workers is an "embarrassment ... to the entire law enforcement community," the village's police chief said Wednesday.

A Cook County judge set bail at $100,000 for officer Steven Harrison, 26, who is charged with extorting at least five victims of up to $250 each between Sept. 18 and 27, telling one of them, "This is how we do things in the suburbs."

Working the midnight shift, Harrison allegedly targeted immigrants as they arrived to start work before dawn at an Alsip business park in the 11500 block of Central Avenue, just over the Oak Lawn border, Assistant State's Attorney Dave Condron said during a hearing Wednesday.

In each case, Harrison made traffic stops and threatened his victims, many of whom spoke little English, that they could go to jail if they did not hand over cash, Condron said.

On one occasion, Harrison spent more than an hour negotiating with his victim, sending him home for money before accepting a payoff in the Oak Lawn police station parking lot, Condron said. He said each of the victims later identified Harrison in police lineups.

But Harrison's decision to hand each of his alleged victims a "receipt" on an Oak Lawn parking ticket may be more damaging - while five cases have been charged so far, a search of Harrison's locker revealed a book of sequentially numbered parking tickets with more tickets missing, Condron said.

Police Chief Bill Villanova said "we have found eight of the victims so far," but 14 tickets are missing from the book, suggesting there are more victims.

Villanova termed Harrison's alleged scheme an aberration and said he immediately removed Harrison from patrol duty after the first complaint was made Sept. 27. Harrison, who had been on the force for a little more than a year and still was on probation, was dismissed Oct. 19.

"Personally, it offends me," Villanova said. "It's an embarrassment not only to the Oak Lawn Police Department but to the entire law enforcement community."

Several minor cases, mainly traffic complaints, in which Harrison was the charging officer, will have to be dropped, the chief said.

Police were alerted about Harrison's misconduct by Richard Ehrie, owner of Advertising Resources Inc., who employs several of the alleged victims.

"When I heard about what was going on, I was outraged," Ehrie said. "These are hardworking people who are doing their best to put food on their families' tables, often making not much more than minimum wage, and this ... was stealing half a week's wages from them."

Ehrie said all of the targeted workers were in the country legally but that a culture of corruption among Mexican police meant his workers were conditioned to "pay up and not ask questions or make trouble." It took several hours for Ehrie and Illinois State Police to convince the workers they would not face reprisals if they came forward, he said.

"This cop probably thought they were in the country illegally, but they were not, and people need to wake up and smell the coffee and see that these workers are the backbone of this country," Ehrie said.

One of the alleged victims, Arturo Gutierrez, said he gave $200 to Harrison, but he added, "I'm not scared (of repercussions) - I'm not playing with people like that anymore."

Staff at Northern Products Co., which also employed some of the alleged victims, declined to comment.

Harrison is charged with five counts of felony official misconduct, three counts of felony intimidation and five counts of misdemeanor theft. His attorney, Brian Bennett, told the judge Harrison had a 1-year-old daughter, but Bennett declined to comment after the hearing.

Anonymous said...

Drink or Die!

Anonymous said...

Was he Black Irish?????

Anonymous said...

Obama is president if your not drinking what's your excuse?

Anonymous said...

what a coont.i wonder if dickhead p.o. supercop from 018 was involved.

Anonymous said...

what a coont.i wonder if dickhead p.o. supercop from 018 was involved.

Anonymous said...

The arresting Officer won't show to court after the Building Inspector talks to the Village President.

I Voted For Obama said...

John T. Hickey voted for Obama, then asked him if he wanted his house inspected for a pint of Guinness.

Anonymous said...

i think this guy is old country turkey, gotta love usa,

Anonymous said...

He is not off the boat. He went to St. Gerald's.