NILES, Ill. (CBS) — Allegations of a police cover up and whistleblower retaliation have set off a series of investigations in Chicago’s northwest suburbs all because one police commander said he is trying to do the right thing but is now paying the price.
Niles Police Commander Nick Beyer said he feels like a lone wolf. He is on leave for insubordination, but he said the real reason is retaliation from his own police chief after he blew the whistle on how his fellow officers handled a Feb. 28 911 call for a well being check at a Niles McDonald’s.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Average Infection Rate Falls To Lowest Point Since Late March; Vaccinations Still Lagging From April Peak
“Because I dared to challenge them and say, ‘This is misconduct, and this was a coverup,'” he said.
Officers arrived around 1:40 a.m. to find a man passed out in his car in the drive-thru. Beyer said it turned out to be a part time Niles employee. Instead of calling for an ambulance, arresting him or even writing a report, Beyer claims officers simply took him home — all violations of department policy.
“Removed his gun and his keys and drove him in a marked squad car, home 40 miles away,” Beyer said.
CBS 2 Investigators obtained the police video of the incident. It is clear the man in the car was slumped over when police arrived. A Niles spokesperson confirms there are now several internal investigations into Beyer’s allegations.
Outgoing Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo said he believes Beyer. He even wanted Chief Tigera placed on leave pending the investigations.READ MORE: Illinois Launches 'Time For Me To Drive' Tourism Campaign As State Prepares To Fully Reopen Next Month
“Chief Tigera was undertaking other investigations that would in some way, shape or form make the whistleblower look bad,” Przybylo said.
But Tigera is still on the job. Niles officials will not comment on why, and Tigera was not available for an interview.
“I’m not ashamed or afraid of what I’ve done,” said Beyer.
He sent a letter to the village board this week asking to be reinstated. He said he is fighting for the future of the police department.
“If this chief remains in the department, it will only continue to unravel and become more toxic,” Beyer said. “Somebody had to step up and say ‘Enough is enough.”
A new mayor, George Alpogianis, takes office on May 11. He said he will wait until the investigations are complete to do what is best for Niles. When CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov asked him his thoughts on the police chief remaining on the job despite the current mayor wanting him placed on leave, he would not comment.MORE NEWS: Chicago Bears Single-Game Tickets Go On Sale Wednesday Night
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed it has received information about the alleged misconduct and retaliation from the current mayor. They are reviewing it to determine if any further legal steps are appropriate.