Mayor: Sheriff interfered in Aurora investigation of man shot to death by deputies

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin has criticized Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain, accusing the sheriff of interfering in an Aurora police investigation that ultimately led to deputies shooting a man to death a day later.

The mayor made his remarks at Tuesday’s city council meeting in reaction to what Hain said in a Chicago Sun-Times article about the death of James J. Moriarty, 38, of Aurora, on May 24, 2023, on the Geneva-Batavia border.

The death may have been prevented, according to Irvin, if deputies had not interfered with Aurora police’s plan to arrest Moriarty the day before.

“Why a county sheriff would interject himself into a municipal police operation baffles me,” Irvin said. “Although the sheriff’s office has countywide jurisdiction, common sense should have dictated he let our officers handle the operation that was already in progress inside the city of Aurora corporate limits where Aurora police have ultimate jurisdiction.”

Hain declined to comment.

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain

Irvin said undercover Aurora officers were outside Moriarty’s home on May 23, 2023, waiting by his parked car to arrest him “in the safest manner possible.” Moriarty was a suspect in several crimes in Aurora the previous two days.

“Unfortunately, this operation was compromised when the sheriff’s deputies, acting under the direct orders of Sheriff Hain himself, appeared on the scene and seized Moriarty’s vehicle — despite our officers’ immediate explanation of what they were doing in the APD operation and why,” Irvin said.

Kane County deputies and officers from several police departments investigate a shooting at Fabyan Parkway and Randall Road, on the Geneva-Batavia border, on May 24, 2023. Daily Herald file photo/May 2023

Aurora police then left, figuring their cover had been blown, the article says.

The next day, Moriarty was suspected of carjacking a woman in Aurora. After a license plate-reading camera registered a hit around 2:30 p.m. in Elgin, a Kane County deputy started following the stolen car near Randall and Silver Glen roads near South Elgin, according to Hain.

The stolen car hit another car at Randall and Fabyan. According to Hain, Moriarty got out, a sheriff’s dog tried to apprehend him, Moriarty showed a gun, and three deputies shot at him.

Hain told the Sun-Times that he had not known the extent of the Aurora operation because an underling hadn’t told him details. He called the car a weapon and said he stood by his actions to seize it.

Hain also called Aurora police “reactive” for just “sitting on it” and that his department is “proactive.”

“That type of police work is baiting someone to get into a pursuit,” the article quotes Hain as saying. “I would say they escalated things. … Get a warrant, and go into the apartment. … grab the guy.”

Police chase ends in fatal shooting on Randall Road; suspect, police dog killed

Irvin said Hain should apologize for “his careless and consequential directives that night and his continued attack on the Aurora Police Department a year later.”

Man killed by Kane Co. deputies had just been charged with robbery, fleeing police in 2 other cases

“The mistake that caused the unfortunate loss of life was his and his alone,” Irvin said, “and he ought to accept responsibility for it instead of interjecting misplaced and unsubstantiated conjecture, rumors and innuendo.”

The shooting remains under investigation.

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