Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– A Chicago police officer will appear in Federal Court May 10 on charges alleging that he lied to federal agents about whether he had ever solicited or accepted bribes from fellow officers in exchange for promising to fix disciplinary cases before the Chicago Police Board. The defendant, Victor Brown, allegedly accepted $4,500 between September 2008 and March 2009 from an officer who was cooperating with law enforcement, and then lied to agents when they confronted him this past February. Chicago police officers who are subject to disciplinary proceedings may appeal recommendations of serious discipline, including termination, to the nine-member police board, whose members are independent of the department.
Brown, 36, who joined the police force in 1998 and most recently was assigned to the Alternate Response Unit, was arrested by FBI agents and CPD Internal Affairs Division officers, who conducted the joint investigation. Brown is scheduled to appear at 4 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason in U.S. District Court.
He was charged with making multiple false statements to agents who interviewed him on Feb. 18, 2010, in a complaint that was unsealed today. The charges were announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Jody P. Weis, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The investigation is continuing, they said.
The complaint charges that Brown lied when he told FBI agents that:
he had never asked for money from a Chicago police officer in return for influencing people at the police board;
he had never accepted money from a police officer in return for influencing people at/associated with the board;
he had never suggested to anyone that he could have a separation or disciplinary case fixed at the board;
he had never told anyone that he had a contact or contacts at the board; and
he had never told anyone that for any amount of money — $15,000, $12,500, $10,000 or $7,5000 — that people could take care of things at the police board.
There is no allegation in the complaint that Brown ever did pay bribes to corruptly influence anyone at or associated with the police board.
According to the complaint affidavit, the FBI was investigating allegations that Brown solicited bribes from officers while promising to fix disciplinary cases when the cooperating officer, who was subject to discipline, was assigned to the Alternate Response Unit and met Brown. The cooperating officer reported that on Sept. 15, 2008, Brown stated that he was aware of the cooperating officer’s situation and offered to arrange a favorable outcome at the police board in exchange for $10,000. Two days later, the cooperating officer met Brown at a restaurant and paid him $500 while recording that meeting and their subsequent conversations, the charges state. Brown allegedly accepted the following additional payments from the cooperating officer: $1,000 on Sept. 25, 2008; $2,500 on Oct. 27, 2008; and $500 on March 19, 2009.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael T. Donovan and Maggie Schneider.
Making false statements carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.