(note: Before I even start this, I want to be upfront. I’m not a “reporter”. I’m a “Photographer”. I’m trying to tell the stories that “Reporters” won’t touch because if they did, they’d nver get another press-release from EPD. That said….here’s some reading & homework for you to ponder.)
May 14, 2017 – The events in Sycamore at the beginning of April were an all-too-telling reenactment of the Elgin PD Good Ole Boy’s club that is alive and well. People in Elgin have been so duped by our chief for so long that this is a mere fly in the ointment for Glenn. Swoboda will hold his hand through it all.
Next will be 20-30 posts/stories somewhere about how wonderful a person he is. We see it here every week. it’s a 20:1 ratio of good/fluffy/rainbow and unicorn stories to every 1 post about crime on the Elgin Police Department Facebook page. The page should probably be renamed “The Jeff Swoboda Fan-Club” page.
Cover-ups like what’s being attempted in Sycamore, have been going on for years here as far back as 10 years ago when officer Phil Brown led Bartlett Police on a chase. Brown was charged with driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding police, speeding and disobeying a stop sign. He got continuances on the case for 2 years. Finally Bartlett PD stopped sending cops to his court-dates and the first day they didn’t show up, his lawyer asked the judge to dismiss the charges, and she did. Brown came out smelling like a rose because in the middle of all this, he cried “racism” and the media reported that and dragged a good-cop though the mud, instead of his drunken-blunder coming home from Deputy Chief Beeter’s wedding reception. He was also caught in an FBI wiretap back around the same time period but that seems to have been cleansed from the Internet. Go figure.
In June of 2016, someone posted a video on one of the Elgin websites that showed a police officer beating a subject on Chicago St. Hours after posting that someone messaged me and asked if I’d seen it. It was removed from FB pretty quick but I did see it. I said the subject probably had it coming and not to always spin it so the cop’s the bad-guy. They sent back that the cop was a “hot-head” and shouldn’t be a cop, and could prove it. They then said to look how many times the police were at his house for domestic voilence calls. I immediately sent an FOIA to Elgin Police Department asking for any and all reports, internals or memos regarding Sgt. Eric Echevarria. Their reply was:
No Such Files Exist
That was not true, in the least.
2 reports (Report numbers: 11-01-1355 & 2015-00004640) existed where Echevarria’s wife called police on him. In one instance, she walked into the police department to make a complaint. She was talked out of it by his superiors (again). If the wife HAD pressed charges against her husband and he was convicted, it would have been illegal for the Sgt. to possess a handgun. Illinois law says:
If you have been convicted of domestic battery (felony or misdemeanor), aggravated domestic battery or a substantially similar offense, you are not eligible to obtain an Firearm Owner’s Identification Card so….he couldn’t be a cop, but Swoboda & Company wasn’t going to let that happen.
No charges were pursued and EPD literally protected the information from anyone trying to get it through conventional means and even promoted Officer Echevarria to Sergeant. He’s rising quickly…..but should he be?
Echevarria was also part of the Puerto Rico expedition where the City spent thousands of dollars and sent police officers to find “Hispanic” police-candidates. They wined and dined people on their mini-vacation and the came back with 1 name and THAT guy person bounced out of the police academy so the trip was a total loss….except for those who got the free vacation on our dime.
In 2010, Lt. Matt Udelhoven was witnessed (by other officers) at the scene of a suicide taking photos of the dead body…with his personal phone. The suicide victim was 12 years old. It was reported to (then) Deputy Chief Cecil Smith who quietly with no paperwork, turned it over to (then) Lt. Glenn Theriault for investigation. No report or paperwork was ever written on this. No disciplinary paperwork whatsoever. In a very short and to the point letter to the Police and Fire Commission, Chief Swoboda said that Lt. Udelhoven requested to be “returned to the rank of Sergeant due to personal matters”.
Why Phil Brown and Eric Echevarria you ask? Why them as the Chief’s pets? So he can use them as his token “minorities”. Parade them around and say “EPD is not racist……..look what I’ve done for these pathetic police officers in spite of themselves”. The City was sued by 6 black officers in the 90’s. This was insurance and publicity that would make the City (especially Swoboda) look like choir-boys should it ever be sued again. Even if it was at the direct expense of decorated Police Lt. Sean Rafferty. The local papers made Brown’s incident more about a false racial discord, than it did about a misfit cop.
Jeff Swoboda developed something called “Hero Syndrome” (it’s a real thing!). Someone who creates bad scenarios so they can appear to fix them and save…whoever or whatever. Just look at the Elgin Police Department’s Facebook page! You’ll find more stories about Jeff Swoboda and people or organizations celebrating him, than you will about anything else. Look at the department profile picture! It’s HIM! Go through the pictures of their community meetings like the “Coffee with a Cop” community meetings. You’ll see a few pics of the events, but not much detail. You’ll see 10-12 cops at these things, but not anywhere near as many citizens attending. You’ll never see video. In fact, most of the people who attend these are the same people over and over again. His “fan-club” so to speak (mainly Seniors) & CERT Team members (volunteers). They’ll go anywhere for free cookies & coffee.
I once suggested broadcasting these events on YouTube Live or Facebook Live, but the Chief said it would be too….impersonal.
I also suggested a sign-in sheet for these events…..that went ignored because then it would be too easy to prove what I’m saying as true.
Swoboda friend (and Good Ole boy) Robert Beeter lost his job for his stupidity, but skated jail time because the Chief told him to put back the money he’d stolen from his ex-wife. He’d already committed a felony….but the Chief made it…nothing. A Deputy Chief of a big-city police department ripping his ex-wife off for $8500 would not play well to the media.
There are many stories like these inside the Elgin Police Department but you rarely hear them because they’re cloaked in secrecy and only if you know exactly where to look and what to ask for, can you find them.
Now that you’ve read the above highlighting only Brown, Echevarria, Udelhoven and Beeter, Consider what they did to Jason Lentz for……a Facebook post. Paul Sharp! he’s one of the best cops on the department and they’ve relegated him to desk-duty because someone complained he pushed em. These were opportunities for Swoboda to remove the squeeky-wheels. They failed to produce any criminal charges agains Sharp and well……we all know Lentz got his job back with back-pay! That had to kill Swoboda.
Paul Sharp and Jason Lentz spoke up long ago about the Good ole boy network in place at EPD. They got hung out to dry….while those who shouldn’t even have a badge right now were allowed to get (or keep) their pensions, or in Echevarria’s case….promoted with a free vacation.
Now the tradition is continuing out of town.
Wake up Sycamore.