A former Schaumburg police officer accused of skimming drugs from police seizures and using an informant to sell them on the street was released from jail Wednesday after a DuPage County judge rejected prosectors' bid to raise his bond.
The brother of Terrance O'Brien, 46, posted $30,000 cash so the former cop could get out of the DuPage County jail for the first time since his Jan. 16 arrest on multiple felony charges.
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O'Brien's Wednesday afternoon release was made possible hours earlier when Judge Blanche Hill Fawell denied DuPage County prosecutors' request that she raise his bond back to its original $750,000. Prosecutors had argued that bond should be raised in light of O'Brien's wife filing for divorce and seeking to prevent him from having any contact with herself or their minor children.
Fawell said O'Brien's marital status had no part in her earlier decision to lower his bond.
Although the judge declined to raise O'Brien's bond, she did order that he have no contact with his wife, children or any of three co-defendants, including a Hoffman Estates woman authorities have described as his mistress.
Fawell had originally criticized the prosecutors' request for restrictions on O'Brien, saying his pending divorce had nothing to do with the case before her. But O'Brien's attorney, Robert Irsuto, shortened the debate by saying his client had no argument with the restrictions.
"It's a situation he respects," Irsuto said.
According to testimony in court Wednesday, O'Brien's brother, Patrick O'Brien, agreed to post the $30,000 cash bond from his own assets. The former police officer will live with his mother in Hoffman Estates while the case against him is pending.
Before leaving jail, O'Brien was to be fitted with a GPS tracking device. He also is forbidden from leaving the state.
Irsuto said his client had found his monthlong incarceration disconcerting. But apart from the relief of getting out on bond, being free also allows him to work on his defense and the changing circumstances of his life in a more practical way, he added.
O'Brien, along with fellow former Schaumburg officers John Cichy and Matthew Hudak, was arrested after a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that authorities say found evidence that for at least six months the officers stole cocaine and marijuana from dealers and police seizures then resold them through an informant. All three defendants resigned from the Schaumburg Police Department shortly after their arrests.
Nicole Brehm, 44, of Hoffman Estates, is accused of using her home as a "stash house" where authorities found six pounds of marijuana after arresting O'Brien, Cichy and Hudak.
O'Brien's next court date is March 15.