CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a happy New Year for one local police officer who turned to the the CBS 2 Investigators for help.
Michael Giorgetti was fired three years ago for speaking up about how seized drug money was being used, CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini reports.
Now, he is back in uniform as sergeant for the Village of Willow Springs Police Department, and new investigations are underway.
Giorgetti, who spent a decade working undercover for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), said the decision to terminate him for blowing the whistle wrecked him.
“It was probably the worst day of my life,” he added.
The funds came from his undercover work while being detailed to the DEA by the Village. But when he questioned Village bosses about how more than $828,000 was spent he was subsequently terminated.
“The only person that listened to me was you and CBS 2,” Giorgetti said.
CBS 2 Investigators exposed how more than $67,000 was spent to buy barely used Harley Davidson motorcycles — complete with upgraded wheels as well as chrome and heated handgrips. ATVs, a souped up Camaro and a nearly $300,000 boat were also purchased. Sources say it was used for pleasure cruises — even taken up and down a canal for the Taste of Chicago.
After our reports, newly-elected Mayor John Carpino said, “This is a luxury and a misuse of federal spending.”
New trustees then voted to give Giorgetti his job back. He says there’s also a new federal investigation underway into past spending.
“I personally thank you guys for coming out here and helping me out because, without you putting some steam behind this, nobody would have heard about me, and nobody would have heard what they were doing to this town.”
Last year, the Department of Justice found the Village of Willow Springs to be ineligible to stay in the Equitable Sharing Program, and ordered it to return $1 million.
Giorgetti says now that he’s got his job back, and there is new leadership, he hopes the village can get reinstated.