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Proviso Probe

Friday, December 30, 2005

PO-PO, Chief Ryan testifies at Harder hearing [FP]

Yesterday I attended most of the hearings on the firing of Dan Harder, Sgt. Forest Park Police. For background see the last Proviso Probe post on this subject.

I think the village’s case is weak and that Harder’s explanation of the situation seems more likely than Police Chief Jim Ryan’s.

After hearing a few officers testify (including someone I went to grade school with—it’s a little strange to see someone I knew from sixth grade testifying at a police hearing) Harder’s attorney, Jeanine Stevens, called Ryan to testify.

Stevens made it clear she neither liked Ryan nor considered him truthful. She argued with him, mocked him, sneered and pretty much called him a liar. Oh, and she accused Ryan of communicating with his attorney before answering questions.

The portion of the testimony that seemed weirdest was when Ryan was asked about an officer that testified earlier. The officer said he had started carrying a firearm while off-duty for personal protection, in part because he feared Officer Mike Murphy.

Ryan tried to change the officer’s testimony. Ryan said the officer wasn’t fearful of Murphy. He may have said he was afraid of Murphy, but he wasn’t afraid he was “confused”.

Stevens also had a bomb to drop. It may not have been nukular, but it sure seemed to excite the attorney representing the police department, Patrick Lucansky. When challenging Ryan about Murphy, Stevens announced she would subpoena Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine.

Stevens seems to think Devine, Collin Simpson (Devine’s top guy in the Fourth District) and Chief Ryan had a phone conversation about Murphy. According to Stevens, Devine instructed Ryan to either keep Murphy in the evidence room or to fire him.

Why is it relevant to get into detail about Murphy and the allegations that he has engaged in abuses and police brutality? One of the allegations against Harder is that he made false statements about Murphy as the result of a conflict between the two of them. So, the Forest Park Police Department sorta invited Stevens to grill the department about Murphy.

It’s almost like there’s a conspiracy to reveal the dirt on the Forest Park PD through the Harder hearings. Not only does Ryan seem inept—if you’re gonna fire someone for taking too many sick days at inconvenient times, Chief, you need to give a written warning first—the village’s legal strategy seems counterproductive. Each hearing makes the department appear more broken in need of fixing. When will someone—Ryan? Sturino? Calderone?—step up and acknowledge the department has problems that need to be addressed? Firing Harder is not going to address the divisiveness and brutality allegations.

2 Comments:

  • Ryan's testimony was revealing, because it showed that even when the facts were clear, Ryan was willing to discard the facts for what "he knew" to be "the truth".

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:24 PM, December 30, 2005  

  • Ryan refusing to be videotaped is also very telling. If you're being truthful, why fear being videotaped?

    Ryan previously testified to NEVER having lied. Never. He also testified that he doesn't swear. Never.

    I think Mother Teresa has even lied. Who does he think he's fooling? I'll tell you who . . . the 3 little monkeys sitting at the desk.


    Someone posted the above text under "anonymous".

    If you return "anonymous" pick a pseudonym and cut-and-paste the text into a new post under your pseudonym.

    I delete posts made under "anonymous". It gets too confusing if more than one person is posting under "anonymous".

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:08 PM, December 31, 2005  

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