14 Police Officers May Be Fired For Abusing Sick Leave

UPDATED 09/07/11 10:52 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A sick leave scandal has erupted in the Chicago Police Department, and 14 officers could lose their jobs.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, over the past two years, a covert unit has been probing officers who have been on sick leave.

In all, the unit examined 1,800 cases, and 443 led to more intensive investigations.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

As a result, the Police Department is seeking to fire 14 officers, and possibly suspend 19. The remaining 410 cases will incur lesser forms of discipline.

The cases were all investigated by the Medical Integrity Unit, which was created in 2009 by then-police Supt. Jody Weis. Its purpose was to look into allegations of fraud, waste and abuse in the Police Department.

Police conducted surveillance, and also kept a journal of the officers leaving their homes.

The rule is that officers on sick leave are to stay home and recuperate, and if they are going to leave, they have to contact their supervisor and say where they’re going. None of the officers who are in trouble complied with that rule, police said.

Some chose to go shopping at a suburban mall, one went out to dine at a chicken restaurant, and a third even took a trip to a Caribbean resort, according to one published report.

“Sick leave” can be one day here or there, or an extended leave of absence, police News Affairs told CBS 2. A case does not have to be long-term to be investigated.

By the numbers, the vast majority of officers on medical leave followed the rules and did nothing to take advantage of the system.

Officers are permitted 365 days of sick leave for every two years, according to published reports.

  • tom Sharp

    Are you kidding me–The police get 365 days off every two years for ‘sick leave!!?? They can sit home 3 to 4 days a week and eat donuts as long as some one runs to Dunkin Donuts for them and watch Maury Povich. And that is on top of “vacation days! Someone needs to put some “common sense” into that contract. I’m sure the small numbers of abusers reported here are only the tip of the ice berg.

    • g-man

      A person can surely tell what a dipsh#t you are if you watch Maury !!! And then you actually write out the words “common sense”. Seems you are the loser who has nothing to do all day but sit at home and watch that :Who my baby daddy show” Get a life you useless link card loving democrat

      • tom Sharp

        You’re right about Povich, I’ve never watched the show but I know cops who do. I just hate stupid, criminal cops and Chicago’s full of them. You and that that patronage, crooked cop loving ‘Chicago Citizen’ defend anything and everything these morons do. Unlike you two I don’t like spending my tax dollars on crooks. Get a life!

      • g-man

        Hey Tom—you have been spending your tax dollars on 50 crooked aldercrooks for many more years than you think. And on average many more aldercrooks go to jail for crimes than cops—so do your homework

  • dan

    I agree that 182.5 sick days a year is insane-I know the job is tough and demanding but seriously if the sick days were cut to say 10 per quarter which is still huge how many new cops could be hired to make up the shortfall of cops on the street everyone keeps blabbing about.

    As I typed this the number seems huge-is the 365 every 2 years correct?

    The cost has to be staggering. Are they paid sick days???????

    Why on earth would someone abuse a generous perk like this?

  • Vocie of Truth

    And what committee approved this policy? They are the criminals in this city and need to be held accountable. The Police Union should be outraged by this injustice and this is just another factual incident which shows how corrupt and self-serving the police force is in many an area. Unfortunately it must start in a complete review/overhaul of policies to regain the respect of the taxpayers.

  • Linda

    When unions first came about they were doing good but became corrupt long ago and should be abolished.

  • tom Sharp

    Hey G-m am: Since when do two wrongs make a right? As you can see from the other postings here, you’re the outsider, not me. In addition, I’ve written more letters to the editor and had them published about crooked alderman than you’ve ever read, including advocating cutting their numbers in half, well before that idea became popular! Go pick on the nitwits like Chicago Citizen who defend these morons, not me! I hate all crooks on the public pay roll equally!

  • So Sad

    Someone put this policy in and then they forgot about it.
    For the honest people they would have not abused this situation. But a few people in life they live by their own set of rules, and tells themselves, If they are stupid enough to give it to me I am stupid enough to take it. Before you do anything you should say to yourself, is this right, and if you do something that is wrong, you deserve the punishment that occurs. It is so sad that the tax payers suffer from this ignorance.

  • What?

    I think the news printed it wrong – it’s supposed to be either 36.5 sick days for 2 years or 365 sick days for 20 years. I can’t believe there’s any way possible that the numbers quoted are correct.

  • penny

    WOW! Dats a lotta days. A lotta of ’em!

  • Chivi

    I used to live in copville Garfield Ridge. Lived around cops and firefighters. I used to wonder if the cops were retired because they seemed to be home most of the time. There were some that said were on sick leave but managed to fix their roofs, mow the law and other chores around their homes. They should get fired. I bet most of those caught are sergeants!! Weiss opened up a can of worms. YOU GO BOY, SIR!!!

  • da chicago way

    keep going after the working stiff,yes some abused the perk but the vast majority dont.you people should be more upset with politicians who rape the taxpayers blind over by dere in bridgeport, you sheep!

  • Sickened

    Sounds like the way Chicago does things. Wasn’t 20% of Cook County’s Sherrif’s dept off on sick leave? Prekwinkle was going to do something about that. Never heard any more about it and that was January.

  • Darlene Made My Ears Bleed

    No matter WHERE you work, use a vacation day now and then. Sometimes the workplace could use a vacation from YOU.

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