DES PLAINES, Ill. (STMW) — Des Plaines Police massively overstated its efforts to crack down on holiday drunk driving to secure federal funding, according to charges filed Wednesday against a former commander.
Timothy Veit, 55, of Mount Prospect, padded official statistics to fraudulently secure $133,000 in federal overtime grants, it’s alleged. According to court papers, the 31-year-veteran, who retired last year, allegedly invented more than 100 DUI arrests that never happened between 2009 and 2012, even making up blood alcohol levels for the phony arrests.
As commander of Des Plaines Police’s support services division, Veit was in charge of securing funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation under its Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Though the program required officers to make one DUI arrest for every 10 hours of STEP funding provided, Des Plaines cops made just 30 such arrests over traditional drinking holidays including Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day from 2009-2012, its alleged.
Veit is accused of inventing another 122 arrests to secure extra overtime funding.
He’s charged with one count of making false statements and faces up to five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
He did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner said his department is cooperating with the federal probe and that 13 of his officers face internal discipline in connection with the STEP fraud.
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Veit’s actions are going to reflect so poorly on the honest and hardworking officers of the Des Plaines Police Department,” he said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)