Des Plaines Suspends 13 Police Officers After Internal Investigation Discovers Violations in DUI Grant

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Thirteen Des Plaines Police Department police officers were found to have violated department rules and regulations after an internal investigation regarding misreporting of DUI arrests to obtain overtime pay from a federally funded Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant.

Twelve officers are from the patrol division and one officer is in the detective division. They face suspensions ranging from seven days to 60 days, effective immediately. Des Plaines Police Department is working to ensure that shifts are fully covered while those suspensions are in effect.

In February, Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner announced that the department’s internal investigation, which was conducted independently of a federal investigation, concluded that the officers violated department rules and policies in connection to the department’s Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program grant to arrest and issue citations to drunk drivers, seat-belt violators and other safety violators.

In 2011, Des Plaines was awarded the third-largest Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program grant in the state at $116,190. The department had received $22,504 as of last March 2013, but city leaders told the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) that paperwork submitted for the grant might have included arrests made by officers who weren’t actually working on grant-funded time. IDOT immediately suspended the grant. Former Des Police Commander Timothy Veit, 55, who oversaw the program retired shortly after the grant was suspended, and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of knowingly and intentionally inflating the number of DUI arrests made under the STEP grant program, allowing the department to fraudulently obtain almost $133,000 in grant money.

Some police officers are required to repay $184 to $787.

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