An on-duty police officer was responding to a call of a man with a gun. Although the officer was using the lights and sirens on the squad car, a vehicle collided with the officer’s car. The officer suffered a laceration to his head, pain and numbness in his fingers, and a tear in meniscus that required surgery. Our firm negotiated a settlement prior to trial for $100,000.
A woman’s car was rear-ended by another driver. The accident resulted in a meniscal tear in her right knee. The Herbert Law Firm was able to obtain a $13,000 settlement for our client.
The Human Resources Board found that the City failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that P.R. should be disqualified for exhibiting conduct indicative of violent tendencies. P.R. was reinstated to the eligibility list for the position of police officer with CPD.
CPD Candidate, A.C. was disqualified from the applicant list based on his polygraph examination. It was alleged that A.C.’s conduct during his polygraph examination interfered with the examiner’s ability to reasonably gather data, and thus, warranted his disqualification based on an indication of deception. At the hearing, we were able to prove that A.C. did not intentionally interfere with the polygraph examination and he was erroneously disqualified. The hearing officer and the Human Resources Board both agreed that A.C. should be reinstated to the eligibility list for the position of police officer with CPD.
CPD Candidate R.H. was disqualified from the applicant list when he revealed that there were two incident reports for an alleged domestic disturbance. At the hearing, we were able to prove that R.H. was never arrested for either incident and was not the aggressor; and the City failed to prove that R.H.’s actions constituted any conduct indicating violent tendencies. R.H. was immediately placed back on the eligibility list.
CPD candidate P.L. was disqualified from the applicant list after it was discovered that he had been arrested for an alleged felony hate crime. At the hearing we were able to show that the City failed to properly investigate the arrest and erroneously concluded that the arrest was a proper disqualification per the standards. The Board also noted the impeccable character and work ethic of the applicant in furtherance of its’ decision. P.L. was immediately placed back on the eligibility list.
Chicago Police Applicant J.M. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for violating the prior criminal acts section and propensity for dishonesty sections of the Department’s background standards. A hearing was held and it was determined that the alleged criminal acts cited for reasons of disqualification were not in violation as they occurred over 10 years ago, that using a fake I.D. over 10 years ago did not prove J.M. had a propensity for dishonesty, and that J.M. did not falsify or omit information of a family member’s involvement in a fraud case. J.M., a college graduate, and police officer of a local suburban police department, was immediately returned to the application process. 15HRB043 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant M.L. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for prior criminal conduct. M.L. sent his request to contest this decision. After review of his file, the Department decided to reinstate applicant” without need for a formal hearing. 16HRB084 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant N.F. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for conduct indicating dishonesty and for other conduct that may render the Applicant unsuitable for employment. N.F. disclosed on his pre-polygraph form that as a college freshman him and a few friends took some folding chairs with the school logo on it. N.F. also disclosed that while working for the school’s Gym Crew he followed policy by taking $5 from the cash box for lunch, and deducting the time from his timecard to reflect repayment of the $5. N.F. did not explain to the polygraph examiner what the practice was for the cash box. N.F. was also disqualified for “other conduct,” which included N.F. having knowledge that one of his five roommates smoked and sold marijuana. A hearing was held was the hearing officer found that N.F.’s conduct could not properly serve as the basis for disqualification: the money was not stolen, but was a common practice, and reimbursed; and the theft of the folding chair was more in the nature of a prank than a crime. N.F.’s disqualification for knowledge of his roommate’s use and sale of marijuana could not fairly serve as a reason to disqualify N.F. No issues were deemed to have risen to the level of criminal activity. The hearing officer concluded that N.F.’s personal qualities should make him an excellent candidate for the position. 15HRB112 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant M.D. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for a numeric discrepancy in his admitted marijuana use between the years 2001-2003, and for discrepancy in his admission of using a family member’s Tylenol and Codeine pill for a back injury in 2003. A hearing was held. M.D. explained his submission of two numeric rounding of marijuana use from 2001-2003, 100xs and 50-75xs respectively, as he was trying to be as accurate as possible and was giving an estimate. After testimony, M.D.’s use to one Tylenol and Codeine pill given to him by a relative for back pain had obvious surrounding circumstances, and noted for it to be disqualifying, it would have to have been taken within 10 years of the date of M.D.’s examination. “The City’s assertion that Applicant had intentionally furnished false or misleading information during the application process was not proved. The inconsistencies present in Applicant’s care concerning events which occurred twelve or more years earlier was obviously the result of innocent mistakes rather than any malicious intent on Applicant’s part to mislead the Dept.” M.D., married with three children, and a steady employment history managing his family business, was returned to the eligibility list. 15HRB080 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant L.C. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for criminal conduct involving drugs. Candidate admitted during his polygraph that he sold oregano in a plastic bag for $20 as a prank, sold 3 pills of his prescription Vicodin for $2 per pill in middle school, and that he took Adderall in 2010. A hearing was scheduled in L.C.’s case. The Department, decided to reinstate L.C. to the list without a formal hearing being held. 16HRB003 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant L.C. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for violating the prior criminal acts section and conduct involving dishonesty. L.C. was disqualified for disclosing that he stole items of low value from local stores in between 2005 and 2013. These incidents were freely disclosed by L.C. and were not independently discovered by the Department. A hearing was held, and the Human Resources Board found that Corporation Counsel did not present sufficient evidence to sustain its burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that L.C. was not qualified for the position as a police officer. L.C., who graduated college at the top of his class, has no criminal background, and has an excellent employment history with the Department of Homeland Security, as immediately reinstated the eligibility list. 15HRB032 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant J.N. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for criminal conduct. Conduct alleged was that Applicant was arrested in 1999 for cocaine possession while he was the passenger in a car where cocaine was discovered. J.N. never stated the cocaine was his. J.N.’s arrest record shows the case was marked Nolle Prosequi (meaning the prosecutor declared he would not further prosecute the case). A hearing was held and documents of the 1999 incident presented. The hearing officer found that it was not shown J.N. was in possession of cocaine or convicted of possession, but merely that he had been arrested for it and the state decided not to prosecute the case against him. The Department did not prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence, and J.N. was placed back on the eligibility list. 16HRB026 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant A.C. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer as a result of his background investigation, which allegedly revealed A.C. was arrested numerous times between 1993-1999 (aged 12-19) for various reasons including: trespassing and loitering, possession of a stolen car, and unlawful use of a weapon. With further disqualification based on his driving record, which included having his driver’s license suspended for underage drinking, and driving on a suspended license. There were no current incidents in his background. A hearing was held and A.C. testified on his behalf. A.C. incurred a driving conviction on a suspended license to prevent a family member from driving under the influence, and on a separate occasion so he could get to work to support his family, his weapons charge was expunged. Despite dropping out of high school to help support his family, A.C. returned to get his diploma, obtained an Associate’s Degree, joined the Marine Corps, was honorably discharged as a Sergeant, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree between deployments in a year and a half with honors. A.C. also had an excellent work history with a security contractor, being promoted to Lieutenant. The hearing officer found A.C.’s personal and work history from ages of 16 years on prove that he is an extremely well-educated, responsible and reliable individual with strong leadership qualities who would make a good Chicago Police Officer. A.C. was immediately reinstated to the eligibility list. 16HRB087 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant V.A. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer as a result of his background investigation which allegedly revealed an arrest for burglary and theft in 1996 (aged 14), with the matter being referred to juvenile court. There were no other later incidents on V.A.’s record. The Human Resources Board found that evidence proved V.A. learned from the 1996 incident and was well-qualified for the position of Probationary Police Officer. V.A. was reinstated to the eligibility list. 16HRB014 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant J.S. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer in relation to his background investigation which allegedly revealed that Applicant had failed to disclose his one-time 2005 use of marijuana during his post-polygraph interview. J.S. disclosed the use on his personal history questionnaire, pre-polygraph test, and home interview. A hearing was held, and the Board found that since J.S.’s 2005 one-time use of marijuana was not relevant or material to his suitability for the position of PPO, failure to disclose it earlier in the application process did not constitute a violation of the standards. J.S., a college graduate who worked as a volunteer for the police department, was reinstated to the eligibility list. 15HRB110 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant J.R. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for criminal conduct involving drugs, for admitting to use of Vicodin not prescribed to him 5 times between 2005-2006, and a Valium not prescribed to him in 2006. A hearing was held in this matter. The hearing officer found that due to the length of time from his last drug usage, his employment record, and his character references, J.R.’s conduct was not in violation of the City’s standards. J.R. was immediately reinstated to the eligibility list. 16HRB080 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant E.O. was disqualified from the eligibility list for the position of probationary police officer for criminal conduct, and violent tendencies regarding alleged domestic battery incidents. A hearing was held in this matter. The hearing officer found based on witness accounts that E.O. did not have violent tendencies, witnesses for the battery allegations were not credible, E.O. had no violent tendencies towards the mother of his child, had part-time custody of that child, and that even though one instance of domestic battery was shown more likely than not, it occurred 13 years ago when the applicant was a teen. One instance alone did not prove E.O. to show a propensity for violence. E.O. was immediately returned to the eligibility list. 15HRB116 (2016)
Chicago Police Applicant K.R. was disqualified for several reasons from the application process of the Chicago Police Department. The department ruled that applicant “had a lack of respect for authority” based upon his own admission that his college roommate was rumored to sell drugs. Also, the department found that applicant’s polygraph report found that applicant committed “serious crimes.” A hearing was held and it was discovered that the “serious crimes” included: trespassing on railroad tracks with his bicycle when he was 13 years old; climbing onto a neighbor’s garage; trespassing on a golf course as a child while chasing deer and/or sledding. Thankfully, the hearing officer and the Human Resource Board properly held that the disqualification was ridiculous considering the disqualifying conduct “was extremely trivial.” Applicant K.R., a college graduate with an excellent work history and no criminal background, was immediately returned to the application process. 15 HRB 115 (2016)
A.C. was removed from the Chicago Police Department’s eligibility list for criminal conduct and for having his driver’s license suspended on two separate occasions. The City presented evidence at the hearing that established A.C. had 16 separate convictions for driving on a suspended license, as well over 10 arrests. Under our direct examination, A.C. testified that he had made mistakes as a juvenile but upon becoming an adult he worked to put his past behind him. Our direct examination of A.C. produced significant positive testimony that the Board was forced to acknowledge. Through our examination, A.C. was able to explain that after dropping out of high school at age 16, he worked to obtain his high school diploma then continued his education, obtaining an Associate’s Degree with honors, before serving six years in the U.S. Marine Corps and earning an honorable discharge. The HRB restored A.C. to the eligibility list and stated that after getting off to a bad start, A.C. demonstrated he was now an extremely well-educated, responsible individual, with strong leadership qualities, who would make a good Chicago Police Officer. 16 HRB 087
E.M. appealed her removal from the eligibility list for the Chicago Police Department due to claims that she possessed violent tendencies and had indebtedness issues. Under direct examination, our client testified that she had an arrest as a minor that was dismissed and she was also unaware that an ex-boyfriend had named her in police reports made out over a decade ago. Upon cross examination, the City’s investigator testified that E.M. had taken steps to clear any indebtedness and had provided the documentation to the City. As a result, the HRB found that E.M. should be restored to eligibility, noting that the evidence demonstrated she was a valued employee who possessed an excellent work record and work ethic, as well as being an individual who was actively involved in the community. 16 HRB 086
Applicant J.B was disqualified by the CPD for marijuana use and because he had excessive indebtedness. A hearing was held before the Human Resources Board and the Department’s witness was impeached on numerous topics. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to reverse the Department’s decision and order immediate reinstatement to the list of qualified applicants. The Board held that the department failed to prove that applicant’s marijuana use was within 3 years of application. Also, the Board ruled that the Department failed to consider the source of the debt and found that because the majority of the debt was from applicant’s medical bills after being stabbed during a robbery, the mitigating circumstances made the disqualification unreasonable. 15 HRB 051 (2016)
Chicago, June 23, 2016– Chicago defense attorney Dan Herbert won a felony acquittal for an Illinois State trooper accused of firing six gunshots into his former girlfriend’s home last year. Herbert argued that Juan Lopez thought a crime was being committed at the time and that the woman was in danger and that is why he took the action he did.
Cook County Judge James Linn found Lopez not guilty of seven felony charges including four counts of home invasion and three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm yesterday in a bench trial. If Lopez had been convicted, he would have faced a minimum of 26 years in prison. Judge Linn found Lopez guilty of misdemeanor reckless conduct and sentenced him to court supervision.
“It is a significant victory considering the anti-police rhetoric which has been so prevalent and we are grateful to Judge Linn for basing his ruling on the evidence in the case and not outside newsures,” said attorney Dan Herbert. “Jose Lopez believed that a crime was occurring and acted based upon that belief. Lopez’s belief turned out to be wrong but it was not unreasonable for him to have believed what he did and acted accordingly.”
Lopez fired six shots into his former girlfriend’s home last year after arriving there and mistakenly thinking a crime was in progress. Lopez testified he saw a car in the driveway he did not recognize, a damaged front door, heard a woman screaming and a saw a man he did not know though the bedroom window. He fired shots into the house and then went inside because he thought his former girlfriend was being attacked.
Once inside, Lopez learned the man was also a state trooper and a friend of his former girlfriend’s. The front door was damaged because the home had been burglarized a few days before. No one was hurt in the incident and Lopez waited at the home for police to arrive.
“Lopez is a state trooper with no prior discipline problems,” said Herbert. “He hopes he can return to the job he loves soon.”
Lopez has been on administrative leave since the being charged in the case in April of 2015.
CPD applicant R.G. was disqualified from the application process for the Chicago Police Department after he told the Department he was arrested in 2012 for defending his friend who was handicapped and confronted by three individuals. The candidate valiantly fought off the three attackers and when the police arrived he was the only one arrested because the others had run. The Department disqualified the candidate indicating that he had “violent tendencies.” At the hearing, it was determined that the fight at issue was the only instance the Department found indicating violence in candidate’s background. The Board determined that a single incident of violence did not indicate “violent tendencies” in any way. Moreover, it was determined that candidate’s bravery and loyalty were qualities which proved he was suited for the Chicago Police Department. Candidate put back on the eligibility list.
15 HRB 134 (2016)
CPD candidate B.B. applied to become a Chicago Police Officer but was disqualified because the City concluded that his driver’s license had been suspended twice. At the hearing before the Board, candidate proved to be a remarkable young man who was exactly the type of person the Chicago Police Department should have been looking to hire. Applicant grew up on the Southside of Chicago. He was a product of DCFS. Despite his shattered home life, he beat the odds and survived the neighborhood. He did not fall prey to drugs or gangs as so many of his peers had. Instead he became involved in boxing which became his outlet. His dedication led him to become a three-time Golden Glove Champion. Currently, B.B. mentors young boxers in his old neighborhood. B.B. has been in the U.S. Army National Guard since 2010 where he has an impeccable work history. At the hearing we were able to demonstrate that the alleged second suspension was actually never imposed. The Board concluded that the Department should not have disqualified the candidate and awarded his immediate reinstatement.
15 HRB 113 (2016)
After a weeklong jury trial in Federal Court, the Jury found Officer A.B. NOT GUILTY of two of the tree felonies he was charged with by the U.S. Government. A.B. was charged criminally of using excessive force and with 2 counts of obstruction of justice for his preparation of two reports relating to the arrest of the accused. The Government alleged that A.B. intentionally falsified reports in an attempt to obstruct a federal investigation. At trial, it was proven that any mistakes on the reports were not intentional and not done to obstruct any investigation. This was a significant victory which will affect law enforcement as a whole. The jury concluded that there is a significant distinction between impeachment and intentional falsification. Hopefully this verdict will assure prosecutors that mistaken reports do not automatically rise to the level of criminal conduct. 14 CR 674 (2015)
A Police Board decision was challenged at the Chancery Court of Cook County. The Court denied the Superintendent’s petition on all counts and ordered that the Sergeant be awarded his job along with all back pay and benefits lost due to the Superintendent’s actions. 15 CH 00722 (2015)
A Chicago Police candidate was discharged from the employment process for prior drug use. We challenged the charges on the basis that the alleged conduct was not a disqualifying factor per CPD standards. It was determined that the candidate was wrongfully discharged and he was immediately returned to the process without a hearing on the issue. (2015)
A qualified Chicago Police recruit was terminated from his candidacy because the Superintendent and Human Resource Department reasoned that he disobeyed a direct order given by a supervisor who has since retired. The Human Resources Board upheld the termination. The Herbert Law Firm took the case and challenged the decisions to the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Court ruled that the decision to disqualify the candidate was “against the manifest weight of the evidence” and reversed the ruling outright. The Court held that the City failed to present any evidence that a “direct order” was given. 15 CH 02682 (2015)
A CPD Police Candidate was disqualified for allegedly providing false statements and having gang affiliations. At trial it was proven that the Superintendent filed improper charges pertaining to the gang affiliation after it was shown that basis of the charge stemmed from the fact that a reported gang member resided with candidate at one time. The candidate had never been affiliated with a gang.
Instead, the candidate temporarily took in a friend of hers and her husband, the purported gang member, after the couple’s daughter was tragically killed in their home. The Board concluded that the candidate’s actions were not improper but rather showed that “she is a compassionate person who can be depended upon when tragedy strikes.” The Board also said that the Department’s position on candidate providing a false statement with respect to her prior drug use was “not defensible.” She was acquitted of all charges and placed on the reinstatement list. 15 HRB 007 (2015)
A CPD Officer was brought before the Police Board of Chicago on allegations that he pointed his weapon at a female protestor outside of an abortion clinic in Aurora. The protestor testified that she was threatened by the officer as he pointed his gun at her unprovoked. However, at the hearing the protestor was impeached on several critical issues and the Board found that her testimony unreliable.
The officer was found NOT GUILTY of all charges and was awarded immediate reinstatement and damages. 14 PB 2874 (2015)
A police candidate was disqualified from the recruitment process after CPD alleged that he provided false information concerning prior drug use during his application process. At the hearing, it was shown that the applicant likely misunderstood various questions about prior drug use due to a language barrier as the candidate was of Polish decent. 15 HRB 005 (2015)
Chancery Court of Cook County denied CPD Superintendent’s petition to reverse a Police Board decision ordering Officers reinstatement and financial award. Officer awarded significant six-figure settlement for the entire time he was put in suspended pay status. 14 CH 18681 (2015)
A decorated veteran was accused of punching and kicking a man outside of a tavern located in a northwest suburb of Chicago. At the trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, it was determined that the victim was intoxicated and the aggressor in the fight. The veteran was found NOT GUILTY of all charges. 15 MC 3001988 (2015)
A police officer accused of violating a female plaintiff’s civil rights was dismissed from the lawsuit. The plaintiff, in her §1983 lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois, alleged that her civil rights were violated by officers as she was forced to perform sexual acts while the officers were on duty. Client was dismissed from the lawsuit and was not required to contribute any money toward the complaint. 11 cv 3502 (2015)
Police Officer R.D. was injured on duty as the result of a car accident. He was placed on the medical roll. He had been on the medical roll only one time during his 16 years of service to the Department. For over 30 years, the officer owned a small painting company consisting of two employees. For years, the officer had been an extremely generous donor to police-involved charities and police officers suffering financial crisis. An anonymous complaint was made to the Department alleging that Officer R.D. was committing fraud because he continued to “work” at his painting company while on the medical roll. The Medical Integrity Unit deployed teams of agents to the case who conducted countless hours of undercover surveillance. The Superintendent, discounting this officer’s stellar history, filed charges against the officer and sought his termination.
At the hearing, we attacked the definition of the word “work.” We argued that the Superintendent’s evidence failed to prove that Officer R.D. performed “work” but rather that his conduct was nothing more than the performance of administrative tasks, not unlike a landlord collecting rent from his tenants. The Police Board of Chicago agreed. In its decision, the Board criticized the Police Department’s policy calling it “not sufficiently clear.” The Board went a step further holding that it was “incumbent on the Department to more clearly communicate” with its employees its policies and definitions of terms. This victory will protect future officers from similar arbitrary prosecution. The Officer was found NOT GUILTY of all charges and awarded significant monetary damages. 14 PB 2877 (2015)
Two Chicago Police Officers were charged with physically abusing an arrestee, false arrest, and providing false statements. A surveillance video from a convenience store captured the physical encounter between the police and the citizen. Charges were brought and the Officers were forced into a no-pay status for months awaiting their hearing. Herbert Law Firm filed numerous pre-trial motions seeking to dismiss the charges due to the City’s failure to file charges in a timely manner. The motions were taken with the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board found that all charges related to the excessive force complaint were DISMISSED because of the City’s failure to bring charges timely, thus violating their fundamental right to due process. As to the remaining counts related to the false arrest and false statements, the officers were found NOT GUILTY of all charges. The officers were awarded immediate reinstatement and awarded well in excess of $100,000 in damages. As a result of this ruling, future officers will be protected from having their due process rights violated by the City and the Superintendent. 14 PB 2870 (2015)
Once a rising star within the Department, Detective J.D. found herself in a horrible situation. She was diagnosed with a serious medical condition that affected her thoughts and behaviors. Through the assiduous support of family and friends, she was able to get the appropriate medical attention and was in a remissive state. Nonetheless, the Police Department, for which she had served commendably, sought her termination despite her medical condition. Det. J.D. was charged with multiple counts of insubordination and verbally mistreating a supervisor. At the hearing it was proven that she was unable to fully recognize and understand her actions due to her medical condition. Accordingly, she could not be legally responsible for her conduct. The Superintendent failed to prove a critical element of the charges: the mental state (“mens rea” Latin for “the intending mind”). It was shown that the decision to bring charges was inappropriate in this case as the Board concluded “this is a medical rather than a disciplinary matter.” 14 PB 2872 (2015)
The Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department took the unusual position that one of his officers should be fired because of alleged mistreatment of her infant child, despite the fact that she had already been cleared through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). At the hearing, the Superintendent failed to present any credible evidence to prove the allegations against the Officer and she was found NOT GUILTY of all charges and awarded immediate reinstatement and payment of all lost pay and benefits. 14 PB 2873 (2015)
The Chicago Police Department disqualified a highly qualified law enforcement officer from its hiring list concluding that he was dishonest during his application process concerning his prior drug use. At the hearing before the Human Resource Board, it was proven that CPD failed to conduct a proper investigation and erroneously determined that the candidate was dishonest. 13 HRB 038 (2015)
A highly-decorated veteran Chicago Police Officer was brought up on charges for physically mistreating his ex-wife, also an officer. The charges were filed with the Police Board of Chicago and a hearing was held. At trial we successfully produced significant mitigating evidence which swayed the Board to give a reduced penalty of suspension. 14 PB 2856 (2015)
Chicago Police Officer T.W. was charged with violating the City of Chicago’s residency policy because it was alleged that he lived in Lynwood, IL. The Superintendent sought his termination and presented surveillance evidence and testimony to support his position that the officer was using a phony Chicago address to cover for him living in a house in Lynwood. At trial, it was proven that the Superintendent surveillance and investigation was flawed, and he failed to prove his case. The veteran officer was awarded full back-pay and benefits and was immediately put back to work. 14 PB 2852 (2015)
Lead Trial Attorney: Daniel Q. Herbert
After a trial lasting 5 days, a Cook County Jury awarded Plaintiffs $375,000 in damages against Local Union 134 members who published false and derogatory information about Plaintiffs to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) national office. 2012 L 011858 (2014)
Lead Trial Attorney: Daniel Q. Herbert
After a trial lasting 5 days, a Cook County Jury awarded Plaintiffs $375,000 in damages against Local Union 134 members who published false and derogatory information about Plaintiffs to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) national office. 2012 L 011858 (2014)
Lead Trial Attorney: Daniel Q. Herbert
An on-duty Chicago Police Officer was captured on videotape concealing a pint of milk underneath his bullet-proof vest and exiting the store without paying for the item. The Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department filed charges against the officer and sought his termination. A trial was held and the Officer was found NOT GUILTY of all charges and was reinstated with full back-pay and benefits. At trial we were able to demonstrate that the Officer did not have the “intent” required to be proven in the charges. 14 PB 2868 (2014)
Lead Trial Attorney: Daniel Q. Herbert
Superintendent brought charges against the Officer after she refused a direct order to comply with a breathalyzer examination sought by the Internal Affairs Division while the officer was hospitalized. A trial was held at the Police Board and it was proven that the Officer could not fully comprehend the order because of her physical condition at the time the order was given. Accordingly, the Board determined that the Officer did not intentionally disobey the order. The Officer was immediately reinstated and awarded all pay and benefits lost as a result of her innocence. 14 PB 2863 (2014)
Lead Trial Attorney: Daniel Q. Herbert
A highly-decorated Chicago Police Officer was captured on surveillance video using force when removing an individual from a grocery store. The Superintendent filed charges against the Officer and sought his discharge. During the trial, the victim was impeached on the critical parts of his testimony. More, we were able to introduce evidence which entirely contradicted a portion of the allegations: the victim’s version of the alleged battery within the police squad. The Officer was found NOT GUILTY of the most serious charges and was reinstated with back-pay. 14 PB 2866 (2014)
Lead Trial Attorney: Daniel Q. Herbert
The Superintendent of Police filed charges against a veteran Chicago Police Officer. The Superintendent alleged that the Officer was involved in an off-duty traffic crash in which he had been drinking. The Officer was taken by ambulance and CPD proceeded to the hospital. However, the officer never arrived at the hospital after he refused treatment while en route. We filed a motion to bar reports prepared by the ambulance drivers which were critical to the Superintendent’s case. Our motion was granted and the evidence was barred from introduction. The Superintendent agreed to a reduced penalty of a minor suspension and the case was settled. 14 PB 2861 (2014)
The Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department challenged the Police Board’s not guilty findings against a highly decorated officer. The case was heard in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Court upheld the decision and remanded the case back to the Board which cleared the officer of wrongdoing and ordered him put back to work with full back pay and benefits. 13 CH 19003
12 PB 2819
The Superintendent of CPD challenged the Human Resources Board’s decision to reinstate the candidacy of a decorated military veteran who was disqualified from the hiring process. The Chancery Court of Cook County ruled that the CPD did not have a valid reason to argue that the HR Board erred when it reinstated the candidacy of the military veteran. The Court ordered that the candidate be immediately restored to the list and placed in the next training class for the CPD. 2014 CH 06638
After being admitted to a mental facility, a police officer had his FOID card revoked by the Illinois State Police pursuant to the Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Act. We petitioned the Board for a hearing seeking to rescind the revocation. Since the FOID card was revoked, the officer was stripped of his police powers and his pay. At the hearing, we were able to prove that the officer was entitled to an immediate reinstatement of his FOID card. He was returned to duty with full pay. 2014 J 004
A young girl died after ingesting heroin with a friend, who was charged with drug induced homicide and providing the lethal dose of heroin. The Law Offices of Daniel Q. Herbert represented the accused and presented substantial mitigation evidence. We successfully obtained a reduced charge and a sentence of probation. Client did not spend any time in jail. (2014) 14 CR 2483
During a Polygraph examination, D.A. admitted to using marijuana within the past 3 years. The CPD concluded that she was deceptive and disqualified her from the hiring process. A trial was held and the decision was reversed in its entirety. The Board concluded that D.A.’s stellar work and academic histories were significant enough to overcome any mistake made by D.A. She was reinstated immediately to the CPD. (2014) 14 HRB 007
Chicago Police Applicant P.M. was disqualified after the City alleged that he was deceptive during the polygraph. At the hearing, the City’s polygraph results were significantly impeached. The Human Resources Board found that the City failed to prove its case because “there was no evidence of deception or other factors to disqualify based on this pre-employment disqualification standard.” Candidate placed on eligibility list and entitled to all rights had he not been unfairly disqualified. (2014) 14 HRB 006
After a bench trial, Officer S.P. was found NOT GUILTY of all charges. The CPD then sought his termination and filed charges against him at the Police Board. The Board found Officer S.P. guilty and terminated him. Officer S.P. appealed the decision to the Circuit Court of Cook County pursuant to Administrative Review. The Court determined that Police Board’s decision “was against the manifest weight of the evidence,” and that the Board “erred” in finding Officer S.P. guilty of providing false testimony. 13 CH 19003 (2014)
The Human Resources Board reinstated a Marine Corp veteran to the Chicago Police Department after he was disqualified by the department’s human resources decision. In the case, J.H. received a less than honorable discharge after he left his post without receiving proper authorization. At trial, J.H. convinced the Board that his decision to leave his post was mitigated by the fact that he left to take care of his ailing mother who had suffered a serious injury. In addition, J.H. was found not guilty of the charge alleging he falsified his CPD application. 13 HRB 058 (2014)
Candidate E.T. was disqualified from the application process due to her admission to using a controlled substance. The case went to trial and we successfully reversed the CPD’s decision because of a lack of evidence. 13 HRB 043 (2014)
The Human Resources Board of Chicago reversed the decision of the Chicago Police Department’s Human Resources Division to disqualify applicant C.H. At the conclusion of the trial, the Board concluded that C.H. was improperly disqualified by CPD Human Resources because the facts relied upon by CPD for disqualifying C.H. were not in violation of the City of Chicago’s background standards. 13 HRB 059 (2014)
All charges were dismissed at the Human Resources Board after candidate successfully proved that the charging document was flawed.
13 HRB 056 (2013)
CPD Candidate was disqualified from hiring process based upon her admission to using cocaine. A hearing was held and the Human Resources Board ruled that the city failed to prove that the substance alleged to have been used was in fact cocaine. The Board REVERSED the City’s decision to disqualify the candidate and reinstated her to the eligibility list. 13 HRB 028 (2013)
A complaint was filed in Federal Court, and the case was presented via mediation in which the deputy fire chief made numerous false complaints alleging that the Riverside Fire Chief was intoxicated while on duty. Though the complaints were proven false the Village Board fired the chief anyways perceiving the chief as disabled due to alcohol dependence. We achieved a settlement of $350,000 for the former Fire Chief of the Village of Riverside, after he was unlawfully terminated from his position prevailing on the theory that the Village violated the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). 11 cv 8200 (2013)
CPD applicant was disqualified for having a prior DUI and because he “had a propensity for dishonesty.” The City argued that applicant’s father was allegedly involved in a mortgage fraud scheme and subsequently took his own life after the allegations became public. The City made the preposterous argument that somehow the situation with his father was proof that applicant had a “propensity for dishonesty,” despite the fact that applicant was not involved in any way with the alleged fraud. Thankfully, the Board recognized how ridiculous the City’s position was and found that the City failed to prove its case, which also included allegations of a prior DUI against applicant. 15 HRB 043 (2015)
The Defendant was facing a minimum of 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections when we won his Motion to Supnews hearing after the Court determined that the search was unlawful for a number of reasons. Most notably, we were able to show the court that the officers’ testimony in which they claimed to have “smelled” cocaine was proven false by our defense expert. (2013)
A Cook County jury entered judgment in our favor in case for a Chicago Police Officer in the amount $500,000. Officer S.M. injured his knee as he was placing Dr. Amish Patel under arrest outside Spy Nightclub. The officer fractured his patella and missed a total of 6 months work. His medical bills totaled $52,000. 10 L 7253 (2013)
A Chicago Police Candidate was disqualified from the hiring process after the City alleged that he used narcotics and falsified his application. He was a highly decorated veteran officer of the United States Navy and we went to trial to challenge the city’s decision to disqualify him. Upon our testimony The Human Resources Board reversed the City’s decision and ordered that the candidate be eligible for hire as a Chicago Police Officer. 13 HRB 004 (2013)
A Chicago Police Officer had his FOID card revoked after being admitted to a mental health facility. The officer stopped receiving a paycheck as a result of the revocation. We brought the case for a hearing before Illinois State Police and presented evidence in support of the officer demonstrating that the law did not support the revocation. The Administrative Law Judge ruled in our favor and ordered that the revocation be rescinded. The officer was put back to work full duty. (2013)
The Circuit Court of Cook County reversed the Police Board decision to terminate two Chicago Police Officers because the City and the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) violated the officers’ due process rights by failing to bring charges in a timely manner.
In a landmark ruling, we convinced the Court that a 51-month delay between the incident complained about and the filing of charges violated those officers’ procedural due process rights, was in violation of the doctrine of laches, contrary to General Order 93-03, and in violation of Municipal Ordinance and therefore entitled the officers to dismissal of the charges. This ruling was ground-breaking for men and women of the Chicago Police Department and officers throughout the State of Illinois. For years IPRA and the police department have forced officers to sit in call back while stripped of their police powers. In some instances, officers have been stripped for years before being given the opportunity to defend themselves at a hearing. We fought for the protection of police officers’ fundamental right to a fair and impartial hearing. We’re extremely gratified that victory was achieved for all officers with this ruling. 11 CH 08424 (2012)
Four high school students accused three Chicago Police Officers, assigned to Phillips High School, of beating them with a fraternity paddle in addition to punching and kicking the students. At the Police Board hearing, all four of the complaining witnesses testified, as did numerous family members on behalf of the complainants. We were able to impeach the city’s witnesses through aggressive examination. As a result, the city’s case was devastated. In addition, we filed a motion on behalf of the officers stating that IPRA failed to charge the officers in a timely manner which prevented them from a fair hearing. In its ruling, the Board cited IPRA’s “failure to timely file charges in this case, and the resulting long passage of time between May 2008 and the evidentiary hearing in this case, undermined the credibility of the Complainants and other witnesses called by the Superintendent during the hearing.” All three officers were found NOT GUILTY and returned to work with full back-pay granted. 11 PB 2778, 11 PB 2779, 11 PB 2780 (2012)
H.H. and P.R. were charged with issuing numerous false parking tickets targeting a specific individual. Our investigation revealed that although the tickets were issued from books issued to H.H. and P.R., the tickets were not written by these officers. In addition, we were able to demonstrate a fundamental flaw in the investigation conducted by the Internal Affairs Division. H.H and P.R. were found NOT GUILTY on all charges and were returned to work with full back-pay. Additionally, the diligence on the part of our law firm led the city to drop charges against other officers named in the case. 11 PB 2767; 2769 (2012)
Read full article in the Chicago Tribune
Officer J.K. was charged with excessive force and committing false arrest during a routine traffic stop and subsequent arrest of the complainant. The officer and the driver began a verbal exchange which was followed by a physical struggle as the officer attempted to place the driver under arrest. The entire incident was captured on video. The officer’s supervisors siding with the driver and released him without charges and began an investigation of the officer. The Chief of Police for the Village of Westchester then brought charges against the officer and sought his termination. At the hearing, the chief and supervisors appointed by the chief argued that the officer’s actions were excessive, unwarranted and against department policy. We were able to establish flaws in the testimony of the chief and her supervisors and to present evidence that contradicted the allegations and proved them false. The Village of Westchester Board had no choice but to reject the testimony of its police chief and her staff. The Board concluded that the officer was NOT GUILTY of all charges and the officer was reinstated to his position and awarded full back-pay. (2012)
Cook County Sheriff sought the discharge of Sheriff M.O. after a search of her residence by Illinois Parole Agents found Sheriff M.O. living with a convicted felon and reputed gang member who was also the father of her child. The Agents searched the residence as part of a parole investigation of M.O.’s boyfriend discovering Sheriff M.O’s duty weapon loaded and unsecured in the apartment she shared with her boyfriend. A hearing was then held before the Sheriff’s Merit Board in which the Sheriff sought her termination. We were able to mitigate the more serious charges against M.O. and the Board found that termination was NOT WARRANTED. M.O. was placed back to work immediately following the hearing. 11 PB 2765 (2012)
After receiving information from a confidential informant indicating that marijuana was being sold out of the home owned by a police officer, Chicago Police conducted a search warrant on Chicago Police Officer S.M.’s home. The search resulted in the recovery of cannabis and two unregistered guns. Two of the home occupants were arrested while Officer S.M., who was also present, was not placed under arrest. One of the arrestees was a convicted felon, known gang-member and the brother of Officer S.M. In addition, the search team found S.M.’s firearm in an unlocked kitchen cabinet. We were able to convince the Board that Officer S.M. did not have any knowledge of the contraband in her home. The Board found Officer S.M. NOT GUILTY of all charges other than the minor offense of properly securing her firearm. Officer S.M. was reinstated to her position. 11 PB 2765 (2012)
Two off-duty officers were accused of physically and verbally abusing a tow truck driver who had towed one of the officers’ vehicles and also accused of giving false reports. We investigated the case, interviewed the necessary witnesses, and prepared an aggressive defense. The complaining witnesses were consistently impeached on cross-examination which proved to be the difference in this case. The Board determined that the complaining witnesses could not be believed due to their inconsistencies at the trial. In the end our planning, experience and performance resulted in the Board finding the officers not guilty on all charges and returned them to work with full back pay. 10-PB-2723 (2011)
Chicago Police Officer A.N. was accused of intentionally tearing a narcotics envelope bag after it was discovered that there was a discrepancy between the number of items listed on the inventory sheet and the number of items contained within the inventory bag. He was also charged with giving false statements to superior officers. We applied an aggressive defense and impeached the superintendent’s witnesses, proving that the purported eyewitness testimony was not credible. The Police Board of Chicago found the officer NOT GUILTY on all charges and he was reinstated and awarded full back-pay. 10 PB 2735 (2011)
Chicago Police Officer A.D. was accused of providing non-department members with police equipment and police uniforms and also accused of providing false reports. Upon conclusion of the hearing we were able to convince the Board that Officer A.D. was not guilty of the more serious charges and the Board ruled that termination was NOT WARRANTED. The Officer was returned to work immediately following the hearing. 10 PB 2732 (2011)
S.P. developed information via a confidential informant that a woman was in possession of a large amount of guns and drugs. Officer S.P. and his team of officers set up surveillance and stopped a vehicle matching the woman’s description and subsequently placed her under arrest after they found guns and narcotics in her car. As the case developed through the prosecution stage, it was discovered that the estranged husband of the woman was responsible for setting up his wife by planting the guns and drugs in the vehicle. Officer S.P. was charged by the Cook County State’s Attorney Office for suspected involvement in the set-up and alleged to have committed perjury as part of the conspiracy. A trial was held and we were able to convince the court that the statements purported to be perjurious failed to meet the legal definition of perjury. Accordingly, Officer S.P. was found not guilty and put back to work following the trial. 08 CR19286 (2010)
Chicago Police Officer R.B. was involved in a minor traffic accident involving his personal vehicle while off-duty which led to him being charged with a DUI when he failed field sobriety tests and the arresting officer recovered whiskey in Officer R.B.’s vehicle. We conducted an investigation and presented R.B.’s case before the Police Board, who ruled that termination was NOT WARRANTED. Officer R.B. was reinstated to his position. 09 PB2721 (2010
The Circuit Court of Cook County dismissed the decision of the Police Board and ordered Chicago Police Officer A.P. be put back to work immediately with full back pay. Officer A.P. was terminated when the Police Board found him guilty of retail theft after he had been captured on video surveillance camera taking an item for sale off the shelf at Walgreens and exiting the store without paying for it. We took the case to the Circuit Court, and argued that the evidence did not support the guilty finding because Officer A.P. had acted without the intent to steal. The Circuit Court agreed with our attorney and ordered the officer back to work with full back-pay. 08 CH 44164 (2010)
A woman accused Chicago Police Officer K.M. of sexual assaulting her during a narcotics investigation. When the woman appeared to testify at the hearing we were able to identify multiple inconsistencies in her story and denunciated her credibility. As a result, the Police Board of Chicago found the Officer K.M. NOT GUILTY on all charges and he was reinstated with full back-pay. 08 PB 2678 (2010)
After a week-long trial, a Cook County court ruled in favor of our client, Chicago Firefighter M.S. The Court was so appalled by the conduct of the defendants that it awarded us $200,000 in punitive damages on top of a separate award for compensatory damages. The Chief Operating Officer for Morning Pride Total Fire Manufacturing published defamatory e-mails about M.S. to various supervisors within the Chicago Fire Department and other Chicago agencies. The C.O.O was upset that her company was not awarded the Bunker Gear Contract to outfit all Chicago Firefighters with equipment. In a last-ditch effort to obtain the multi-million dollar contract she alleged that M.S., who was part of a panel comprising the selection committee, accepted a bribe from the winning company. In true David vs. Goliath fashion, we took the fight to court opposing a defendant who was represented by a team of lawyers from a very prominent law firm. The turning point in the trial came when we called the company’s C.O.O. to the witness stand and laced her with a blistering examination that made the case all-but-over. A verdict was returned in favor of our client M.S. and against Morning Pride Total Fire. Shortly after the case, the C.O.O. resigned her position with the company. (2010)