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Article updated: 6/6/2013 2:18 PM

Schaumburg cop charged with misconduct, resigns

Bryan Woodyard

Bryan Woodyard

 
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A Schaumburg police officer at the heart of two separate misconduct investigations has been charged with two felony counts of official misconduct alleging he improperly kept a .22-caliber revolver turned in by a resident for disposal.

Bryan Woodyard, a seven-year member of the department, resigned Wednesday as a result of the investigation that was launched in late April after the allegations surfaced.

Woodyard, 38, also is involved in a pending Illinois State Police investigation into a discrepancy over the amount of heroin turned over to police in September after a teen's fatal overdose.

Schaumburg police's internal investigation into the gun issue resulted in Woodyard facing official misconduct charges alleging the theft by unauthorized control over the property of the police department and intent to obtain a personal advantage for himself by performing an act in excess of his lawful authority.

Woodyard appeared in court Thursday when his bond was set at $5,000. He was released later in the day after posting the 10 percent needed to go free. His next court date is June 18 at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

Official misconduct is a Class 3 felony punishable by a maximum two to five years in prison, though probation also is possible.

Woodyard is the fourth Schaumburg police officer to be arrested on felony charges this year. In January, three undercover officers were arrested on allegations they were stealing illegal drugs from dealers and drug busts and then working with an informant to sell them.

According to investigators, two Schaumburg residents came to the police department April 23 to turn in a handgun. Woodyard, police said, first tried to purchase the gun from the residents, but after they refused his offer he accepted the weapon and kept it for himself without creating a report or record of the transaction.

Three days later, one of the residents reported to Interim Police Chief Ken Bouche that she was uncomfortable with the way the transfer occurred and the interaction she had with the officer, police said.

Within a few hours, the department launched an investigation, interviewed Woodyard and obtained enough information to place him on administrative leave, according to police. Investigators also notified the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

In a prepared statement Thursday, Bouche said the investigation is the most recent example of a department that is working together, fully dedicated to preserving its integrity and defending the trust the public has placed in it.

"On a daily basis, I am reminded of the exceptional capabilities of the men and women of the Schaumburg Police Department and their dedication to serving the residents of Schaumburg," Bouche said.

In the same release, Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz praised the investigation.

"I am pleased to see the department address this matter so quickly," Fritz said. "I'm proud that our police department quickly confirmed the incident, captured important information, recovered the property in question and pursued appropriate action immediately against this officer within a matter of hours. This investigation illustrates our commitment to uphold the integrity of the department and its officers and the trust of our citizens."

Bouche became interim chief after the retirement of former chief Brian Howerton in early April. He already was leading an assessment of the department on behalf of the consulting firm Hillard Heintze following the arrests of the three undercover officers.

Shortly after those arrests were announced, a Schaumburg woman contacted the department to make sure the heroin she'd turned in after her 19-year-old son's overdose death was still in evidence. The woman reported turning over 11 bags of heroin, but the police evidence log registered only nine.

Woodyard has been questioned by state police investigators trying to determine whether the discrepancy was a result of a miscount or some other cause. That investigation has not yet been concluded, though the Schaumburg Police Department's internal part of it has been closed, Sgt. John Nebl said.

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