An Illinois city agreed to settle out of court, last week, a lawsuit involving an attempted coverup by a cabal of crooked officers to steal money from alleged drug dealers.
Officials in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg village approved a $30,000 settlement for Christine Abel, Nicholas Abel and John Abel, Sr., who said in a federal lawsuit that Schaumburg and Hanover Park police officers “conspired and acted together to cover up [a] false arrest, made falsified police reports, and provided false testimony pertaining to a warrantless search of their home some years back..
The lawsuit named former Schaumburg officers Matthew Hudak, John Cichy and Terrance O’Brien, and current police Officer Alan Takei, as well as seven Hanover Park police officers.
The Abels claimed in the lawsuit that two Hanover Park police officers arrived at their home on Andrew Lane looking for someone who no longer lived there before they and additional officers searched the residence several times, without and, later, with a warrant.
The lawsuit alleged officers arrested Nicholas Abel, who was charged of felony possession of a controlled substance, when “there was no probable cause or any other legal justification,” after “threatening” Christine Abel for refusing to give them permission to conduct a search.
During the multiple searches, the officers “caused property damage” to the home, the suit claimed, and “only inventoried some of the [$4,000] they seized and stole the rest.”
The lawsuit also alleged the officers then “conspired and acted together to cover up” the wrongful seizure of the money and search”
Schaumburg officials have admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
“The misconduct was confined to the reprehensible conduct of three rogue officers who are being appropriately punished in the criminal courts and are no longer representatives of the village of Schaumburg,” city attorney Jim Sotos said.
Officers O’Brien and Hudak were charged in 2013 with conspiracy and pleaded guilty. They are serving prison sentences, Sotos said. Officer Cichy is scheduled to head to trial in the coming months and Officer Takei remains on duty.
So far, the village has spent about $164,000 on settlements related to the former officers, and has three lawsuits currently pending agaisnt them.