Three undercover Schaumburg police officers arrested on drug conspiracy charges two weeks ago have resigned, village officials confirmed Wednesday.
Accused officers Terrance O'Brien, Matthew Hudak and John Cichy had been on administrative leave since Schaumburg officials learned of their Jan. 16 arrests in DuPage County on multiple felony charges.
"Based on the information obtained during the village's own investigation, we are pleased to accept their resignations," Village Manager Ken Fritz said in a statement Wednesday.
Hudak resigned last week, and O'Brien and Cichy resigned Tuesday, village spokesman David Bayless said. Even before the resignations, the village had moved the officers from paid to unpaid administrative leave, Bayless added.
Also Wednesday, Cook County prosecutors dismissed charges against two more defendants whose cases were among those in which O'Brien, Hudak and/or Cichy were involved. The two defendants are among 15 to have their cases dismissed, or expected to have their cases dismissed, because of the allegations against the Schaumburg officers.
Schaumburg officials say they will move forward with their internal investigation of the officers' professional conduct, despite the resignations, so that the village will have as much information as possible about the former officers' actions.
The officers appeared in a DuPage County courtroom Wednesday, when a judge agreed to allow cameras in court Thursday for hearings on motions to reduce their bonds. All three have remained in custody since their arrests, unable to post $750,000 bonds.
O'Brien, 46, was a 23-year veteran of the Schaumburg Police Department. Cichy, 30, and Hudak, 29, served for five and eight years respectively.
Among the defendants with cases dismissed Wednesday was Caesar Hernandez, 22, of South Beloit, Ill., who was on parole when arrested on charges of armed violence -- which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison -- and delivery of cocaine, a Class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years prison.
His arrest resulted from an undercover operation in which he met with a Schaumburg police confidential informant to sell 2½ ounces of cocaine, prosecutors said during Hernandez's bond hearing last year.
Prosecutors also dismissed charges against Hernandez's co-defendant, Christopher Nelson, 27, of Beloit, Wis., who was charged with possession with intent to deliver and delivery of cocaine, both Class 1 felonies. Prosecutors said Nelson was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant out of Rockford at the time of his arrest.
"We applaud the state's attorney for reviewing the cases and doing the right thing," said Hernandez's attorney, Cook County Assistant Public Defender Calvin Aguilar.
The Cook County State's Attorney's office reviewed 19 drug-related cases in which one or more of the former officers were involved, a spokeswoman said.
Ÿ Daily Herald writer Barbara Vitello contributed to this reportCopyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.