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Proviso Probe

Monday, August 28, 2006

PO-PO, FPPD investigates Officer Tom Hall: three scenarios [FP]

Forest Park Police Chief Jim Ryan has initiated an investigation of Officer Tom Hall for lying during his testimony before the Fire and Police Commission.

Hall testified Asst. State’s Attorney Frank Serio told him that State’s Attorney Dick Devine told Chief Ryan to fire Sgt. Mike Murphy or bury him in the evidence room. Serio later signed an affidavit saying the conversation never happened.

Here are three scenarios.

1. Hall is telling the truth and Serio is telling the truth. These two things could be true if Hall misunderstood Serio or if Serio “forgot” the conversation.
2. Hall is telling the truth and Serio is lying. Serio may have been explicitly instructed to lie, but here’s a more likely scenario. Hall’s anecdote got back to Serio’s boss and the boss asked Serio if he recounted to Hall the conversation about Murphy. Serio understood from the tone of the question that he shouldn’t have told Hall about Devine’s comments on Murphy. So Serio ensured his boss the conversation didn’t happen. Later Serio was approached for an affidavit. This put Serio in a bit of a bind. He either had to confess lying to his boss (something that would definitely have consequences) or he could lie in an affidavit (something which can’t be proven and was a relatively peripheral matter in the Harder hearings). Serio acted like a good bureaucrat and told his bosses what they wanted to hear, probably not envisioning the Forest Park PD was so psychotic or vindictive to discipline Hall over the incident. Or Serio just didn’t care about what his lie was going to do to Hall.
3. Hall is lying and Serio is telling the truth. Perhaps Hall was bribed or coerced into making a statement that would invite retribution by Chief Ryan. Perhaps Ryan committed some offense or insult against Hall that motivated Hall to put his career in jeopardy.

The problem with scenario three is that it doesn’t make sense. If Hall was going to risk the wrath of Ryan and his henchmen why take the risk over something so inconsequential. It’s hardly like the Harder hearings turn on this one point. It’s a statement about Murphy by someone who never met him.

There were plenty of witnesses who knew Murphy and worked with him that said he was out of control and difficult. Hall’s testimony hardly tipped the scale against Murphy.

And Murphy was only a bit player in the allegations against Harder. Harder was accused of calling a subordinate a “fucking idiot”, taking questionable sick days two or three times, lying about his whereabouts on one of the sick days and lying about a verbal fight with Murphy.

It’s plenty clear from the Harder case Chief Ryan is willing to be petty and vindictive. When Harder’s attorney grilled Ryan about why he didn’t process Harder’s request for reimbursement Ryan admitted Harder had the money coming and showed up with a check the next hearing.

So, even if Hall was motivated by thinking Chief Ryan was Old Scratch himself, I think Hall would come up with something more inconvenient and damaging to Ryan than to fabricate a double hearsay account of Murphy being unsuitable for most police work (at least the kind that put him in contact with other human beings).


  • Wow - the Chief is at it again. I don't understand why he has not been fired for being incompetent. The Chief is worried about Hall making a statement that may or may not be true regarding a cop that has been known to be brutal. Instead of disciplining the cop or keeping him behind the desk, Ryan decides to go after a police officer that is telling the truth. Imagine that you are damned for telling the truth at FPPD. Where is Ryan's, I mean Tony's priorities and what message is he saying to the public? It is obscene to consider rewarding police officers that have a poor personal record and chastising officers that are in good standing.

    Get Ryan out of office, please!!!!

    By Anonymous fedupwChiefRyan, at 10:23 PM, August 28, 2006  

  • Give me a L
    Give me a Y
    Give me a I
    Give me a N
    What does it spell?
    Chief Jim Ryan!

    By Anonymous Oiy', at 12:13 AM, August 30, 2006  

  • Another cop targeted by Chief Ryan. Yet more costly mistakes are made at the Village's expense. I personally no Officer Hall. He is a good police officer and has no reason to lie.

    This apparent move by Chief is dirty politics at another officer's expense.

    I agree with the first poster get rid of Mr. Ryan and the Mayor. Forest Park should be a leading Chicago suburb that does not dabble in corrupt government.

    This disheartening news is declining the morale of our fine officers. Why do they need to be put through this? Stop Jim Ryan before its too late. Before specialized tactical police units are stealing from local homes (such as Chicago); before dirty political games attract greedy officers who would serve themselves before protecting our community.

    We have been blessed with the officers that have been given to us but with a crooked politician at the helm declining PD morale is inevitable.

    Officer Hall we support you, hang in there hopefully the "real" truth will be exposed. Thank you for your service.

    By Anonymous NewStartNeeded, at 9:39 AM, September 02, 2006  

  • newstartneeded, you were doing fine until you got to the part about tactical units stealing from local homes and greedy officers. At this point Forest Park cops should be more concerned with who's next on the chopping block.

    By Anonymous overthetop, at 9:57 AM, September 05, 2006  

  • True that! Hey it was a long week.
    You get my point.

    What's next?...and shouldn't the powers that be try to stop it from occurring.

    Whatever happened to the cop that beat a homeless man or the one that can't keep his hands off of female officers. I know..old news but why aren't their heads on the chopping block.

    By Anonymous NewStartNeeded, at 8:09 PM, September 05, 2006  

  • Why? Because they are two of the chosen ones that reside within Lyin' Jim Ryan's inner sanctum. It's O.K. to beat minority's, it's O.K. to grope female officers, it's O.K. to cover up all of the above but report it and tell the truth? Your up next on Calderone's version of The Apprentice. YOUR FIRED!

    By Anonymous showtime, at 8:51 AM, September 06, 2006  

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