Friday, January 10, 2014
Compare guilty Harvard cop with Amati "investigation"
You may have read about the Harvard cop who cheated on sick time, forged doctor's notes and got caught at it. What happened in that case?
He got nailed to the barnyard door - charged, prosecuted; he pled guilty to official (felony) misconduct, lost his opportunity ever to work as a cop again, and got ordered to pay back the City of Harvard. That was after a long song-and-dance of many court dates. Imagine his legal fees!
The Northwest Herald article said that $4,000 of the $9,509 restitution will be paid out of his bond.
Well, maybe. That's if the court system can get hold of the 90% of the bond that wasn't posted (most get to post 10% to get out of jail), which it probably will, by hook or by crook. (Oh, wait; maybe that's not the right phrase to use when referring to a court...) And then there is the additional "little" matter of $1,054 in fine, fees and costs. And his bill from Gummerson Rausch et al.
Now compare this with the Amati deal in Woodstock.
In Harvard the cop got charged with crimes. Felonies. The State's Attorney approved the felony charges.
In Woodstock the cop didn't get charged. The State's Attorney did not approved the felony charges. (Why not? Did the Illinois State Police do a lousy job investigating and presenting its case? I doubt it. If they didn't have a case, they wouldn't have gone to the SAO.)
The State's Attorney Office cited the Sgt. Amati's long police career. But that is a mitigating factor and should not be considered during the charging process.
When do you consider mitigating factors? After conviction. During sentencing, when there are used to argue for probation or a lenient sentence. And, even then, they should be brought up by the defense attorney, not by the prosecutor.
The prosecutor addresses aggravating factors, if any. But in this case it was the Chief of the Criminal Division of the McHenry County State's Attorney office who threw the bone to Amati.
The McHenry County Sheriff's Department bailed on its responsibility, too, by refusing to investigate when the complainant was escorted to MCSD. Maybe MCSD hasn't figured it out yet, but most cops know most cops. When you are presented with a crime by a cop, you act like a cop and take care of business. Not at MCSD, though. (Here I aim at "the" person who made the decision to send that Woodstock PD Sergeant and the complainant away.)
If the "life-long, law-abiding citizen" theory were used before a person was charged for their first time, there would be fewer people ever charged