DuPage judge will not expunge record of former Schaumburg cop

  • Former Schaumburg police officer John Cichy leaves the DuPage County Courthouse on Feb. 13, 2018, after charges that he stole and sold drugs were dropped. On Wednesday, a DuPage County judge refused to erase the charges from his record.

    Former Schaumburg police officer John Cichy leaves the DuPage County Courthouse on Feb. 13, 2018, after charges that he stole and sold drugs were dropped. On Wednesday, a DuPage County judge refused to erase the charges from his record. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 

Former Schaumburg police officer John Cichy's request to have all criminal charges erased from his record was denied Wednesday by a DuPage County judge.

Judge Liam Brennan's ruling came exactly one year after prosecutors dropped all charges against the cop who had been accused, along with two fellow officers, in a drug-dealing operation.

Cichy petitioned the court to expunge his record of all charges stemming from his January 2013 arrest on allegations he forced an informant to sell narcotics that authorities said the three officers had confiscated. In Illinois, expungement means the records are physically destroyed or returned to the petitioner.

Brennan cited the unexpired statute of limitations still looming over Cichy, who remains subject to prosecution until February 2021, and the effect that destroying the records would have on the cases of former Schaumburg officers Matthew Hudak and Terrance O'Brien, who are both serving prison sentences related to the case.

Both officers have filed post-conviction petitions in response to Cichy's case.

After the hearing, Cichy's attorney, Jay Fuller, said his client will not appeal Brennan's decision.

In March 2014, O'Brien pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, official misconduct, burglary and armed violence in connection with the drug case. He is serving a 24-year sentence but could be released after 12 years.

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O'Brien's attorneys filed an amended post-conviction motion in January and his next court date is March 19.

Hudak pleaded guilty to identical charges in April 2014 and is serving a 26-year sentence. He could be released after 13 years.

Cichy never pleaded in the case and demanded a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin on Feb. 13, 2018. Instead, prosecutors announced the charges of unlawful delivery of more than 100 grams of cocaine, armed violence, criminal drug conspiracy, calculated criminal drug conspiracy, official misconduct, burglary and theft all were being dismissed because they could not "meet the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

A week later, after being pressed by attorneys for Hudak and O'Brien, DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin said the case against Cichy "relied heavily on the testimony of an informant who witnessed the essential elements of Cichy's offenses."

The day before the trial was to begin, Berlin said, he learned of criminal activity by the informant that had not been disclosed.

The three officers all were charged with drug crimes after an investigation that began on Jan. 2, 2013, when police found about 9 ounces of cocaine in a Carol Stream storage unit. Their search led them to a former informant who said he'd been helping three Schaumburg officers deal marijuana and cocaine skimmed from busted drug dealers.

During the next two weeks, prosecutors said, investigators captured the officers, including Cichy, on video and audio surveillance as they made plans and carried out drug deals, often in police vehicles and while wearing their service weapons. Prosecutors said the officers then split the cash from the drug sales.

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