Cases worked by Schaumburg officers under review
Both Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Public Defender Abishi Cunningham have ordered reviews of cases involving the three Schaumburg police officers accused of operating an illicit drug-dealing enterprise for the "thrill" of it.
"We're going to be looking at any and all cases they've touched," said Alvarez spokeswoman Sally Daly. "Whether that's in Schaumburg or any other jurisdiction."
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The trio of officers — John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O'Brien — were part of the Schaumburg Police Department's Special Investigations Bureau, which involved undercover operations dealing in drugs, gangs, prostitution and other vices. They were arrested Wednesday and charged Thursday with a bevy of drug-related crimes and other offenses in DuPage County. Prosecutors there said the 46-year-old O'Brien, a 24-year-veteran of the department, told arresting officers he did it for the "thrill of it."
"In the past, it certainly has had an impact on the cases when an officer is arrested and accused of wrongdoing," Cunningham said. "It affects credibility a lot."
Daly and Cunningham said both closed and active cases will be examined. Officials in neither agency have determined the number of cases in which the officers are involved.
Active cases involving the accused officers may be the first to be dealt with.
"The state's attorney has to make a determination if they want to pursue these cases," Cunningham said.
Daly said prosecutors will decide how to proceed once the extent of the officers' involvement is determined.
"If we feel there's going to be a problem with these officers' involvement, we'll take appropriate action," she said.
In 2009, the 30-year-old Cichy, a five-year-veteran of the department, and 29-year-old Hudak, an eight-year veteran, were listed in the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists top arresting officers for drunken drivers. Cichy was on the list again in 2010.
However, because of their involvement in the special operations unit in recent years, none of the officers are involved in cases that Schaumburg Village Prosecutor Elmer Mannina is prosecuting at this time. He didn't expect any cases he is handling to be affected by the arrests.
"I haven't had those guys in my court since they've been in the drug unit," Mannina said.
If convicted, the officers face up to 40 years in prison.
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