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    Posted: 25/October/2007 at 7:10pm
After reading this alert, all I can say is it's time for Chief Ryan to go NOW!  Since he's been here we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal costs and settlements as a result of out of control officers.  Mayor Calderone suggests in the Review article below that residents should not look at the cumulative effect of all these circumstances.  I ask, how can you not? 

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Police sergeant indicted by feds
Felony counts stem from 2003 arrest of suspected panhandler

By JOSH ADAMS

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Web Extra!
A Forest Park police sergeant was indicted on felony charges yesterday by a federal grand jury for allegedly using excessive force during a 2003 arrest. Further, the officer is accused of falsifying information in his report of the incident with the intent to "impede, obstruct and influence" the outcome of the case, according to federal records.

The charges against Sgt. Michael Murphy were handed down by the U.S. District Court in Chicago after the case was presented to a special grand jury convened in March. Both counts in the indictment stem from the Aug. 6, 2003, arrest of Sidney Hooks, during which Murphy is alleged to have used pepper spray and a baton. The indictment makes no mention of the reason for Hooks' arrest or the extent of his injuries, but a lawsuit filed by Hooks in 2004 offers a detailed accounting.

An indictment is not an indication of guilt or innocence, rather that a grand jury has found sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.

Court records filed with the Oct. 24 indictment reveal that Murphy remains free on $4,500 personal recognizance bail, pending his arraignment.

"He will be receiving a date for an arraignment and ordered to appear without being arrested or anything like that," A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office, Randall Samborn, said.

If convicted, Murphy could be sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay $500,000 in fines.

Village officials confirmed their knowledge of the charges and released a brief written statement Wednesday through the police department.

"Sgt. Michael Murphy, a 17-year veteran of the Forest Park Police Department, has been indicted by the United States Justice Department. The indictment includes one count of obstruction of justice and one count involving a civil rights violation," the statement read. "The indictment was issued on Oct. 24, 2007, following an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sgt. Murphy has been placed on paid administrative leave."

According to Hooks' civil complaint filed in February 2004, Murphy arrived at the tail end of a police response in which two officers were attempting to determine whether Hooks was panhandling. The two other officers responding to the call were satisfied that an arrest was not necessary and explained as much to Murphy, the suit contends.

After walking approximately half a block from the scene, Hooks was allegedly apprehended by Murphy, who was exiting his squad car with pepper spray in-hand. Hooks was allegedly sprayed in the face and then struck repeatedly with a baton, resulting in a broken wrist. After being kicked and handcuffed, Hooks was transported to the police station where Murphy "dragged Mr. Hooks approximately 20 feet," according to the suit.

Hooks was later taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

"Mr. Hooks was falsely charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault of a police officer," defense attorney Arthur Loevy said in his 12-page complaint. "The charges against Mr. Hooks were dropped by the prosecutor."

A copy of the 2003 arrest report was requested by the Review on Oct. 25 under the Freedom of Information Act. By law, the village has seven days to respond.

The attorney who handled the civil case for Hooks in 2004, Loevy, did not return a phone call Wednesday.

Hooks' lawsuit was ultimately settled out of court in June 2004.

Murphy's indictment can be added to a growing pile of personnel issues hanging a black cloud over the police department in recent years. Most notably, since 2002 the department has seen a sexual harassment suit, the firing of another sergeant and the resignation of a lieutenant. It was also revealed in August that a third sergeant in the department has ties to Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was indicted by federal investigators on corruption charges 12 months ago.

Also in August, a patrol officer was accused of raping a Forest Park woman. County prosecutors declined to press criminal charges in that case, however, the officer is still facing the possibility of disciplinary action from the village.

Mayor Anthony Calderone has stood by Police Chief Jim Ryan despite the disciplinary issues facing the department. Calderone acknowledged that an allegation of wrongdoing can have a besmirching effect on the department's reputation. However, the mayor discouraged the notion that these incidents, viewed collectively, are damaging.

"Every circumstance has different circumstances, so I don't believe there should be a cumulative effect," Calderone said.

Employee disciplinary issues are a reality regardless of the department, and "to think that we're never going to have an employee ... that doesn't do something they shouldn't have done" would be "unrealistic," Calderone said.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sentry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/October/2007 at 7:21pm
Well according to our drop-out do-nothing Mayor puff'n stuff "every circumstance has a different circumstance."   That even beats his "There was no physical harm here, just allegations consistent with a rape" comment about that cheating creep cop Kozak. Wherever we send that disgraced Ryan, Calderone should follow. I say they both need to go!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/October/2007 at 8:05pm
i need my facts.
 
first, how many police officers do we have? apprx.
 
w/help from the review:
1) cody - sexual harassment 2002. convicted & promoted.
2) harder - he said/he said - fired for falsely calling in sick & swearing in squad room. civil suit pending. 2005
2) johnsen - double crossed by mayor, resigned to avoid drama and bankruptcy. 2007
3) some sgt - w/ties to crook rezko? 2007
4) kozak - under disciplinary investigation on rape allegation. 2007
5) miller - harrasses sisters of brothers who have annoyed PD. has not defended himself.  2007
6) murphy - indicted on felony charges. beating the crap out of homeless guy and lying about it. 2004-2007
 
it that accurate? anything else?
 


Edited by citizen - 25/October/2007 at 8:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sentry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/October/2007 at 8:26pm
Well as they say. There is always tomorrow at Hedonism III aka the Forest Park police department. Keep It Going!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piehead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/October/2007 at 8:53pm
Seems like WAY TOO MANY things for such a small police department.
 
But seeing as it's not an election year I don't see much of anything changing here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote videoguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/October/2007 at 9:14pm
Its about 20% of the force, following Citizen's list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carl Nyberg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 8:11am
Jim Ryan should resign.

The Police Department should be moved to another commissioner's portfolio, Curry, Hoskins or Tellalian.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 8:34am
time for some real accountability from mayor calderone & chief ryan.
 
as management, how do they account for this mess? 'each circumstance is unique' just isn't cutting it.  there are too many 'circumstances' that are ruining the reputation of both our town and the entire police force. 
 
are we breeding cowboys or professionals?
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piehead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 8:58am
From the Review:  "Employee disciplinary issues are a reality regardless of the department, and "to think that we're never going to have an employee ... that doesn't do something they shouldn't have done" would be "unrealistic," Calderone said."
 
Except Mr. Mayor we now have yet another police officer on paid administrative leave.  How many does this make in our very small police department? 
 
And the fact that these employees are supposed to be the ones upholding the laws of our village makes this even scarier.
 
So who's left on the streets, the parking enforcement people
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piehead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 10:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sentry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 10:33am
Nice job Calderone, Ryan and Co. I guess they are just bringing Big City Charm via our Small Town Access. Keep It Going! and we will have the honor of replacing Cicero as the most corrupt town in the western suburbs.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sentry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 1:52pm
Did you ever think you would long for the days when Pope was director of operations and customer service at Hedonism III aka the Forest Park police department? That friggin' Pope now looks like catholic nun compared to this red-faced lyin' Jim Ryan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 7:26pm
pope was a bit before my time.
 
we can squabble all day long over who did what, but the 'circumstances' have piled to the height of a small mountain. i am left w/only 2 thoughts.
 
1) this is not a case of a wayward employee or two - it's the culture. management is always responsible for the culture. whether it's FPPD or starbucks. mgmt heads (plural) need to roll.
 
2) if this is indeed political payback for harder, it only makes management look more incompetant, more ridiculous. to blame it on 'employee disciplinary isses' is like a parent blaming the children for poor behavior.
 
sorry tony, it's always the parents. unless, of course, you are hiring ill, deficient officers.
 
the FPPD is a disgrace, and our town deserves better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 7:50pm
another thing.  someone brought it up today (cannot find.)
 
this town recently elected 4 commissioners and a mayor. curry, hoskins, hosty & tellalian - you need to step up to the plate. i don't care about departments and turf. none of us do.
 
the four of you took an oath - can i assume to serve & protect the village you serve. i'm sure it did not say 'except activities/issues the mayor wants for himself.' 
 
re-read your oaths of office. it's crunch time.
 
edit:
sentry brings up a fundamental point - why don't the FP police officers demand truth & justice. let's assume they have families to care for. or whatever.
 
you four (80% of our government!), on the other hand, are the true protectors of the village, with nothing to lose.  additionally, you volunteered for the job. you asked for the voters trust and we gave it to you. step up.
 
 


Edited by citizen - 26/October/2007 at 8:02pm
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Originally posted by Carl Nyberg Carl Nyberg wrote:

Jim Ryan should resign.

The Police Department should be moved to another commissioner's portfolio, Curry, Hoskins or Tellalian.


Of course, the real question is whether it is time for Calderone to go.  The buck needs to stop with someone, and this whole "every circumstance is different" line is getting a little old.  How many more "individual circumstances" are there left in this department? 

While I'm sure Ryan is available to be offered up as a sacrificial lamb if the pressure mounts, the obvious questions are what our "always there" and "hands-on" mayor knew about what was going on in the police department, and when. 

Politically, the mayor is lucky that the most serious of these incidents (i.e. the indictment) occurred after the election, and more than 3.5 years until the next one, so it's entirely possible the electorate will forget all of this and vote to "keep it going" again in 2011. 

As for Patrick Fitzgerald, he's obviously got a lot of fish still waiting to fry in the remaining 15 months he's the federal prosecutor, so I doubt he'd waste too much time with a small suburban cop unless this is a) such a slam dunk it won't take much in resources, or b) the tip of an iceberg that can get people talking and land him a few more convictions before he decides his next course of action.  Some federal prosecutors decide to cash in and go into private practice for a big-name law firm, while others (e.g. Jim Thompson) go into politics first.  Fitzgerald already has George Ryan to Jim Thompson's Otto Koerner, so that's my guess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KPO'M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/October/2007 at 9:56pm
Originally posted by citizen citizen wrote:

another thing.  someone brought it up today (cannot find.)
 
this town recently elected 4 commissioners and a mayor. curry, hoskins, hosty & tellalian - you need to step up to the plate. i don't care about departments and turf. none of us do.
 


It's probably this one you're thinking of:
http://www.forestparkforums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=2093&SID=e88ea58e7dba5f377977bedd184dd481www.forestparkforums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=2093&SID=e88ea58e7dba5f377977bedd184dd481

Anyway, the risk here is that the source will obscure most readers here to the fact that Sentry actually has a valid point.  Of course, we also have the ability to make FOIA requests, although it is hard to get too much information on an ongoing prosecution, I think.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/October/2007 at 10:42am
quiet this morning.
yeah, i'm depressed too. what a mess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/October/2007 at 8:06pm

from editorial in today's trib. they're refering to blagojevich, but do a 'fill in the blanks' exercise.

"Should ___________ remain as __________ of __________? He shows no inclination to resign from office...so the realistic question becomes this: given the multiple ineptitudes of _____________ - his reckless financial stewardship, his dictatorial antics, his penchant for creating political enemies...should citizens create a new way to terminate a chief executive who won't or can't do his job? The answer is Yes."



Edited by citizen - 28/October/2007 at 8:06pm
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Are you suggesting we amend the village code to enable us to recall our elected officials?  It might work, although then again, I doubt that we'd even be able to recall Stroger and Blagojevich, let alone a small suburban mayor.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Legion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/November/2007 at 10:39pm
We should wait for a nice day and start a riot.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/November/2007 at 9:59am
Originally posted by Legion Legion wrote:

We should wait for a nice day and start a riot.

 
well, it's a lovely day. and today's review should start a riot. thanks, fpr.
 
commissioners, the ball is in your court. guess we'll see the true reasons you ran for office.
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Time for new commissioners to stand up
     Bill Dwyer

In the wake of Sgt. Mike Murphy's indictment but just prior to the news of officer Nick Kozak's suspension, a post on the local online message board Forest Park Forums asked, "What are we breeding, cowboys or professionals?"

The answer is, unfortunately, both. And this will continue until three newly elected village commissioners see fit to stand up and demand that the cowboys with badges be corralled so the principled and professional cops may get the support they need and deserve.

The issues at stake here go beyond the hot water that any officer may find themselves in as of late. For decades, the police department has suffered from a lack of leadership, accountability and professionalism.

Chief Jim Ryan is not up to the task of reform, though the real problem is Anthony Calderone. The mayor recently discouraged the notion that a series of incidents, viewed collectively, are damaging. Damaging? They're outright damning.

The "incidents" go back to Calderone's time as a commissioner in the early '90s. He was mayor and police commissioner when Robert Wilson filed a suit that was settled in six months, and again was at the helm when another suit took just two months to settle. In addition to being a lifelong resident of this community, Calderone has been in position to hear the sordid details of the department's problems longer than any other public official. He should be well aware of the constant thread of chaos that exists, yet he has done little to correct it.

Ryan had just become chief when Sidney Hooks' lawsuit presented more evidence that Murphy, more so than any other officer on the force, believes he's a one man criminal justice system. Ryan not only didn't have the stones to buck Calderone, he actually believed, incredibly, that Murphy wasn't a problem.

Former commissioner Patrick Doolin contends that during an executive session of the village council Ryan said at the time he took full responsibility for Murphy's behavior. In light of this indictment, Ryan needs to honor his word and quit. Or be fired.

Meanwhile, the three new commissioners can vote to release the audio recording of that meeting any time they choose. There may have also been other noteworthy comments made at that meeting about how the department responded to Hooks' lawsuit.

Anyone who's been observing our police department can deduce that it isn't one bad apple causing all the turmoil. Several years ago a rape suspect was apprehended by Oak Park police and turned over to Forest Park officers. That suspect reportedly suffered minor injuries when his would be victim fought back, though nothing like what Chicago officers observed when they arrived later to take custody.

City police were reportedly so appalled at the suspect's physical condition that they refused to sign for his custody until photographs were taken to document his injuries. Thankfully, those allegations haven't been added to the pile of lawsuits already pending against this village. And through it all, Calderone just sits by, a man totally out of his depth, running the police department and this village into a financial ditch.

"Every circumstance has different circumstances, so I don't believe there should be a cumulative effect," Calderone bleated inanely to the Review.

Calderone needs to hire a genuinely tough top cop who's capable of properly administering our police department and assuring a semblance of order, honor and dignity. And then that person must insist that the mayor butt out of the day-to-day administration of the department, otherwise, this sad and costly performance will continue indefinitely. At least until three newly elected commissioners stand up for our village and do the right thing.
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11/6/2007 10:00:00 PM  Email this articlePrint this article 
Change the culture
Police plagued by controversy

As troubling as a felony indictment against one of Forest Park's top officers might be, the problems within this police department are simply too big to think that the outcome of a single case will provide the solution. The civil and criminal proceedings against Sgt. Mike Murphy span more than a decade, and though his track record is concerning, his story is only one of the threads in this department's ugly history.

Mayor Anthony Calderone recently suggested that the trials and tribulations of the department, or any of its officers, cannot be considered collectively. The long view, he said, is inappropriate because the circumstances of each complaint, each lawsuit, each termination hearing and now each indictment are different. His assertion is utterly and stunningly flawed.

This department has seen several leadership changes in the last 20 years, but regardless of who holds the reins, the political maneuvering, the allegations of brutality and the sloppy oversight persist. For this reason, we are not calling for the police chief's ouster at this time. Frankly, we don't think it would make any difference whose lap these problems land in. What we are suggesting is that the entire village council begins taking the long view.

There needs to be a clear message coming from the top as to what the expectations are for this police department. Simply installing a new officer here or another sergeant there isn't enough to change the culture without the political will to back it up. Maybe an outside agency needs to sit down with the council and layout, in all its ugly detail, exactly what the problems are so commissioners can be sure everything is addressed.

Are rank and file officers distrustful of the brass? Are there mixed messages when it comes to enforcing department policy? Should officers assume they can turn to council members if they're unhappy with a supervisor?

One of the conclusions this council must reach is that it will agree to stop meddling in police operations. The mayor has denied time and again that he's looking over the chief's shoulder, but we don't believe him. Calderone enjoys playing the hero's role. His attendance at various police calls and inflated recollection of his days as an auxiliary officer are evidence of that. And who can forget his fouling of a disciplinary matter with a former lieutenant.

The mayor's and council's role in solving the problems at the police department is to gain an understanding of the necessary changes and then find someone who can deliver. It is not the council's job to run the department, but the elected officials must set a new tone.



Edited by citizen - 07/November/2007 at 11:54am
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Glad you posted the above, citizen, makes the most sense to me. Ryan really did inherit a mess.


Edited by logic - 07/November/2007 at 11:42am
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But Ryan has done nothing that I can see to improve things since he has been appointed. 
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I don't know that, pie, seems all we hear about is the "bad" stuff.
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What is some of the good stuff then?  His teaming up with Calderone to get him re-elected and running the crime prevention (aka get Calderone elected) meetings that appear to have stopped cold after April?  His not honoring the Mayor's handshake agreement with Johnsen on the whole Shaw debacle? 
 
If you've heard of good stuff, please let's hear some.
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Originally posted by logic logic wrote:

I don't know that, pie, seems all we hear about is the "bad" stuff.


Since when has the village held their tongue on the "good stuff"?
You'd think with the complaining going on during the harder & Johnsen fiasco's, that they'd have plugged the chief more by letting us know about all those great things he's done.

Outside of handing out a couple of firings and a few suspensions, what has he brought to the table? For what he gets paid, I expect a bit more. Like I said, he's been mediocre at best. Given the money he makes and what some say he inherited, we deserve a more capable person.

Why am I trashing the chief again, some might ask. Until I talk to the person I'd rather not say specifically, but he suspended someone I know for the most stupid reason in the world. When I heard the circumstances, I lost all respect for the man as a leader.


Those who can make you believe absurdities have the power to make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire~
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it appears the problem w/chief ryan is that he is not the leader. the mayor is.
time for the commissioners to reel tony in.


Edited by citizen - 07/November/2007 at 12:45pm
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Originally posted by piehead piehead wrote:

His not honoring the Mayor's handshake agreement with Johnsen on the whole Shaw debacle? 
Do you believe that was Ryan's sole decision or did he take a hit for the Mayor?

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