Schaumburg police chief cleared of criminal wrongdoing
The Cook County State's Attorney's office has found no basis to continue a nearly 10-month investigation into stalking allegations against Schaumburg Police Chief Brian Howerton brought by his estranged ex-girlfriend.
Schaumburg officials received a letter Monday informing them that the Illinois State Police and state's attorney's probe of the stalking, harassment and intimidation claims was being closed without the filing of criminal charges.
Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz said the letter makes it clear that the state's attorney's office cannot determine whether the alleged behavior was appropriate or professional, only that it was not criminal.
"We're certainly happy to see that the state's attorney's office has reviewed the case thoroughly and decided not to file any charges against the chief," Fritz said.
A complaint filed last March by Schaumburg resident Dawn Davis claimed Howerton abused his authority as police chief before and after their 18-month relationship. Neither Davis nor her attorney could be reached for comment Monday.
Howerton said Monday he could not comment until the village's internal investigation also has been closed.
Schaumburg's Office of Professional Standards initially put its investigation on hold while state police interviewed potential witnesses and gathered information. But the village reopened the inquiry in October when no results were forthcoming from the state's attorney's office, which by then was reviewing state police findings.
At the same time, Davis -- who'd previously had not commented publicly on the investigation -- shared her allegations with CBS-2 reporter Pam Zekman in a televised interview.
In that broadcast, Davis said she was fired from her job at a home health care agency by her boss, whom she'd previously dated, because of Howerton's constant calls on her work phone.
Davis told Zekman that when she tried to ignore the calls, Howerton became infuriated and made death threats against her.
Though Howerton has declined public comment, Schaumburg officials released a memo he'd written to them in July 2012 asserting that Davis' anger at him for ending their relationship was the reason for her complaint.
"What I do know is that Dawn threatened to destroy me as she was leaving my residence on March 21, 2012 after our year and a half long relationship ended," Howerton wrote. "I firmly believe that Dawn took steps throughout our time together to position herself so that she could cause me problems if I were the one to end the relationship."
Fritz said the village's investigation, which has a slightly different focus, will require a little more time to wrap up.
The village's Office of Professional Standards investigates whether employees followed proper procedure in the performance of their jobs whenever allegations of unprofessional conduct are made, he said.
State police are asked to investigate whenever there is even a slight possibility of a criminal charge resulting from the behavior of a public official, he added.
The complaint against Howerton was the only one the village has received about him throughout his 31 years with the police department, Fritz said. Howerton became police chief in 2009.