- A high-stakes wrongful-death trial alleging a code of silence in the Chicago Police Department took a dramatic turn Tuesday after documents suddenly surfaced mid-trial showing an off-duty detective was involved in a drunken bar fight nearly 17 years before he killed two young men in a fiery DUI crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway.
At an emergency hearing outside the presence of the jury, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall said the undisclosed report of former homicide Detective Joseph Frugoli’s 1992 arrest and five-day suspension went to the heart of the allegations against both Frugoli and the department that officers are inclined to cover up for wrongdoing by fellow cops.
“This is the damning report, and it comes up out of nowhere, six years after the beginning of the lawsuit,” an exasperated Kendall said. “It’s really a mess.”
Plaintiffs’ attorneys asked for immediate sanctions, including a possible directed verdict in their favor. After conferring in private with attorneys for both sides, however, Kendall announced that the trial would go on — though with incriminating new evidence that could cripple the city’s case.
A few observations:
- Corporation Counsel is completely incompetent and this “undiscovered” investigation ought to cost a few lawyers their jobs and their law licenses;
- The so-called “code of silence” always seems to be lead back to some connected or clouted individual whose wrongdoing was covered up, concealed or “disappeared.” If more clout people were held accountable instead of covered for, maybe these things wouldn’t be so damaging and the reputation of the Department wouldn’t be destroyed;
- IAD should be considered the birthplace of the “code” since they’re the ones burying the DUI’s, domestics, thefts, sex scandals, harassment, gambling investigation and test cheating. In fact, they birthed the entire Lieutenant Cheating scandal when six or eight sergeants from IAD, all with ties to Wysinger’s sergeant-wife made top twenty scores.