Campton Hills paid more than $18K for police evidence audit

Gold Shield Detective Agency worked 105.5 hours on audit with final report – then village refused to release it

CAMPTON HILLS – Campton Hills paid a private detective agency more than $18,000 for an audit of the evidence being held in the police department, but refused to release the agency’s final report, according to documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Gold Shield Detective Agency in Bloomingdale submitted a proposal on July 25, 2023, for an experienced police evidence auditor – C.J. Camel – and an assistant at a rate of $160 to $175 an hour. Per diem fees were $30 a day and mileage was .655 per mile.

Camel is a civilian member of the Glendale Heights Police Department who is the evidence officer, according to the city’s website, Generally, an evidence officer maintains the chain of custody for property and physical evidence for law enforcement.

Campton Hills Interim Police Chief James Levand signed his acceptance of the proposal, records show.

In a text message, Village President Barbara Wojnicki wrote the contract with Gold Shield “was moved forward in closed session in August. ... We didn’t have to go out for bid because the cost wasn’t more than $25,000.”

The village paid Gold Shield $18,541.10 for 105.5 hours of work from Aug. 12 to Dec. 14, 2023, plus printing, mileage and per diem costs for on-site work, according to its invoices, also released through the Freedom of Information Act.

Gold Shield Proposal - Redacted by John Sahly on Scribd

Officials would not comment on the reason behind the audit other than to say it is in connection to a still-pending Illinois State Police investigation of former Campton Hills Police Chief Steven Millar.

According to Gold Shield’s audit proposal, it would review the village’s existing written policies for collection, intake and storage of evidence and property and prepare a computerized inventory database.

It also would inventory all evidence stored, such as currency, valuables, firearms and narcotics.

A hands-on count of all items in police custody “will be compared to the information listed in the Campton Hills Police Department’s computer evidence inventory data base ... identified as the ‘Crime Star’ computer software system,” according to the proposal.

Gold Shield will provide an initial reconciliation of actual inventory versus what is in the Crime Star inventory, according to the proposal.

Items in evidence will be compared with industry standards, according to the proposal.

Gold Shield also will “provide a confidential written report concerning the findings of the inventory audit,” according to the proposal. “The outcome or result of the audit cannot be guaranteed. A ‘clean’ audit cannot be guaranteed.”

In estimating how long the audit would take, according to the proposal, “based on representations of the police department command staff, concerning the current conditions, volume of evidence/property and potential for lack of records ... the physical audit is 24 to 30 hours with both the auditor and an assistant.”

An additional eight hours is necessary to complete the auditor’s written report, according to the proposal.

Millar resigned Jan. 22 after seven months on paid leave.

The village denied a request to release a copy of Gold Shield’s audit report, citing the following exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act:

• Regarding pending or contemplated law enforcement proceedings

• Active administrative enforcement proceedings

• Unavoidably disclose confidential sources or those who file complaints

• Obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation

• Preliminary drafts, notes or other records in which opinions are expressed or policies or actions are formulated

• Materials compiled in anticipation of a criminal, civil or administrative proceeding

• Records related to adjudication of employee grievances or disciplinary cases

The Kane County Chronicle has filed a request for review from the Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for this denial by the village of Campton Hills to release the information.