Judge: Des Plaines Officer Accused Of Excessive Force Rightfully Terminated
DES PLAINES, Ill. (STMW) — A Cook County judge upheld the termination of a northwest suburban Des Plaines police officer on Friday, overturning an arbitrator’s ruling that the officer, accused of using excessive force against an arrestee and lying about it, should return to work.
An internal investigation in the Des Plaines Police Department accused former officer John Bueno of using excessive force against an individual in his custody, failing to report the August 2010 incident and subsequently providing false information to investigators, according to a statement from the City of Des Plaines.
After he was fired, an independent arbitrator, sought out by the officer’s union, ruled Beuno should have instead been disciplined with a 15-month suspension and a conditional return to duty, the statement said.
On Friday, however, Cook County Circuit Judge Sophia Hall overturned the arbitrator’s decision, upholding Bueno’s termination and barring the former policeman from returning to work in the department, the release said.
“We are extremely pleased with the judge’s support for our position that Mr. Bueno should no longer be a Des Plaines police officer,” Des Plaines City Manager Michael Bartholomew said in the statement. “The facts of this case have never been in dispute. The issue has been how severe the discipline should be. We believe strongly that Mr. Bueno gave up the privilege of being a Des Plaines Police officer when he violated the city’s use of force policy, failed to report his use of force on more than one occasion, and then fabricated a story when questioned about these incidents.”
Details behind the excessive force incident, and what Bueno is accused of doing, were not immediately clear early Tuesday.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)