For those of you who are just joining us, the long and short of the story is that Sycamore Police Chief Glenn Theriault, a former Elgin Police Department Commander, was removed from his post and placed on (paid) leave for an incident that as of right now, we only know to have occurred on April 8th or 9th of this year.
Sources told Elginet Media 2 weeks ago of this incident and said it had involved the DUI arrest of an Elgin Police Sergeant. After making us wait for maximum amount of time allowed by Illinois FOIA laws, the city released to me, a list of DUI Arrests for 2017. In that list, the name of an Elgin Police Sergeant (Mark Whaley) was in fact present. The entire story wreaks of the Elgin PD “Good Ole-Boy” system that’s been in place for years.
The DUI list consisted of name, citation number and arresting officer. In the list of 37 names, 2 had the citation number missing. One of them was for Mark Whaley. This can only be seen as one more way to prolong the media from getting to all of the information so we can keep the residents of Elgin and Sycamore informed.
Here is a timeline and details of the event as we now know from yesterday’s disclosure.
04/08th or 9th, 2017 – We still have no idea exactly what or what time this incident occurred, but we do know that it was a very serious incident. Sources and documents obtained yesterday point to something that occurred with the DUI arrest of Mark Whaley
04/11/2017 7:52 am – Chief Theriault emails city manager Brian Gregory to confirm an earlier (text?) conversation saying:
Not sure if my text went through …
Still in dismay. Now that I’ve had some time to digest however I’d like to have a brief conversation early this morning before you get going. Just want to offer a few thoughts, particularly as it relates to what happens after this given I am extremely confident the outcome will be exonerated. Should be no more than 5-10 minutes.
Deny, Deny, Deny! Apparently his talk didn’t do well.
04/11/2017 12:15pm Chief Theriault is sent his “Leave Letter”. That letter from the city manager states:
After further consideration and review, I have determined that the best option for all is to place you on temporary paid administrative leave effective April 11, 2017 pending the outcome of an internal investigation. During the period of your administrative leave you are forbidden from exercising statutory police powers or taking any police action beyond that available as a citizen. During your administrative leave, you may not be on City property without my authorization. You are also ordered to turn in your department issued firearm, badge, police department identification card, car, and any other City owned property to myself.
While on leave you are not to have contact with anyone in the City of Sycamore organization and shall direct any questions to me.
04/12/2017 11:05am – Deputy Chief Jim Winters sends the following broadcast email to everyone inside Sycamore Police Department:
To all Sycamore Police Department Employees:
The City Is conducting an internal investigation into events that took place on April 8 and 9, 2017, involving the arrest of an individual for driving under the influence. In order for the City to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, I am directing you to preserve all documents and electronically stored information that may be relevant to this Investigation. This includes, but is not limited to:
Any arrest records from April 8 and 9, 2017;
Any in-squad video from April 8 and 9, 2017;
Any video from inside the Police Department from April 8 and 9, 2017; and
Any e-mails, faxes, correspondence, reports, summaries or records of conversations, notes, or any other documents or information regarding the events of April 8 and 9, 2017, no matter where they are located.
04/12/2017 2:11pm – The Sycamore city manager sends a broadcast email to all employees telling them that there is an internal investigation (which everyone should already know about!) This email also tells employees that a firm has been retained to conduct an independent investigation on the City’s behalf. (Shouldn’t this be investigated by the Illinois State Police???) That email states the following:
All Police Personnel,
The City is in the process of conducting an internal investigation Into events that took place on April 8 and 9, 2017, involving the arrest of an Individual for driving under the influence, and related matters. In addition to legal counsel, the City has retained REM Management Services Inc. to conduct an independent Investigation on the City’s behalf. I urge anyone who may be contacted by REM to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation. During the pendency of the investigation, please do not discuss this matter with anyone else, other than your Union representative or legal counsel.
04/24/2017 7:36am – The City Manager receives an email from a firm called Hillard Heitze Professional Standards Services which appears to be a solicitation letter to the city for their services. Why this information was enclosed in the FOIA request is a baffler. The Deputy Chief had already said the City had retained REM Management Services, Inc 12 days prior, to conduct the investigation. Is the City of Sycamore doubling-down on their investigation? I wonder what the cost of this will be?
Stay Tuned. We will bring you more information as soon as we have it.