Elgin police are investigating whether an off-duty officer violated department policy after a media report alleged he was drinking and driving in an unmarked department pick up truck.
The issue came to light after a report in the Daily Chronicle detailing an April 8 incident in Sycamore involving Sgt. Mark T. Whaley, who was later released without charges.
Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said the department is investigating whether Whaley's actions violated department rules.
"If there was drinking in a department vehicle, that's obviously against (department) policy," said Swoboda, who noted Whaley remained on active duty in the department's Special Operations Group.
"Whether he was intoxicated, that's between Sycamore and Mr. Whaley," Swoboda added.
Sycamore police Chief Glenn Theriault, who is former a Elgin deputy police chief and commander, has been placed on administrative leave while city officials investigate his possible interference in Whaley's case.
Theriault, who served for 20 years with Elgin police and rose to the rank of commander before being hired as Sycamore police chief in January 2015, did not return phone messages Saturday.
Theriault was placed on administrative leave April 10, has no police powers and cannot communicate with city employees, according to the Daily Chronicle report.
Whaley, 46, a 22-year veteran of Elgin police, was pulled over about 1:40 a.m. April 8 while driving the 2005 Ford F-150, according to the Daily Chronicle.
Whaley smelled of alcohol, had glassy eyes and refused field sobriety and breath tests, and an unopened can of Miller Lite beer was found on his passenger seat, according to information cited by the Daily Chronicle. Whaley was handcuffed and taken to the Sycamore police station, but was later released without any charges or even a traffic ticket due to "lack of evidence," according to the Daily Chronicle.
Theriault went to the police station that night, called an Elgin police commander three times and directed his officers not to charge the mandatory, $500 administrative fee for Whaley to get the truck back after it was towed because Whaley was not arrested, according to the Daily Chronicle.
Theriault later texted the Sycamore officer who stopped Whaley, saying "tough position for you and all last night," according to the Daily Chronicle. The officer later texted back "A valuable experience for me, albeit unpleasant. Tonight we will stick to parking tickets," according to the Daily Chronicle.
Swoboda said any actions by Theriault were out of Elgin's jurisdiction.
Phone and email messages left for Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang and City Manager Brian Gregory were not immediately returned Saturday.