Crime & Courts

Former state police officer receives supervision for 2019 Crystal Lake DUI

Matthew E. Konie, formerly of Lake in the Hills, pleaded guilty on Sept. 17 to a misdemeanor DUI charge stemming from his May 2019 arrest

A former Illinois State Police officer who sporadically activated his SUV’s lights and sirens while driving under the influence in Crystal Lake in 2019 has accepted a plea deal.

Matthew E. Konie, formerly of Lake in the Hills, pleaded guilty on Sept. 17 to a misdemeanor DUI charge stemming from his May 2019 arrest. In exchange, Konie, 52, was sentenced to one year of court supervision, requiring him to attend DUI school and a victim-impact panel. If Konie successfully completes the sentence, a conviction will not appear on his record.

Konie already has completed the DUI school requirement, court records show.

Reached by phone Monday, Konie’s attorney Patrick Walsh declined to comment.

Konie was off duty when Crystal Lake police stopped his unmarked police vehicle for a traffic violation on Feb. 1, 2019, in the area of Williams and Brink streets, according to police reports.

He and an unidentified passenger were on their way back to Lake in the Hills after an afternoon “downtown” with friends, Konie allegedly told police.

At the time of the arrest, the Crystal Lake deputies suspected Konie might have been impersonating an officer because he intermittently activated the SUV’s lights and sirens, according to police reports.

Whether police had enough reason to believe Konie was drunk at the time of his arrest, however, was the subject of multiple hearings before Konie’s guilty plea.

In 2019, McHenry County Judge Mark Gerhardt determined that Crystal Lake police didn’t have sufficient evidence to think Konie was driving under the influence, but the Illinois Appellate Court later reversed that decision.

Earlier this year, Walsh sought to quash Konie’s arrest and suppress related statements and evidence, arguing that Konie showed “no signs of impairment” before or during the traffic stop. Gerhardt denied the request, based in part on witness testimony surrounding Konie’s arrest and behavior as well as the reported smell of alcohol.

Police reports tied to Konie’s arrest alleged that he struggled to pull over and put his car in park when Crystal Lake police pulled him over for a traffic violation.

Konie then showed the Crystal Lake officer his police badge but said nothing, according to police reports. He also tried and failed four times to end a phone call after police stopped his vehicle, court records show.

The Illinois State Police placed the former master sergeant on restricted duty immediately after his arrest, a department spokesperson said at the time. Konie went on to retire from the department late last month, Illinois State Police Sgt. Joey Watson said on Monday.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie has reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald since 2017. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.