Joliet announces complaint against former police officials

State board asked to decertify ex-top cops

Attorney Sean P. Connelly

The city of Joliet announced on Thursday that a complaint has been filed aimed at taking away police certification from former Chief Al Roechner and former Deputy Chief Marc Reid.

The complaint was filed by Inspector General Sean Connolly, who issued a report dated March 1 alleging a criminal conspiracy involving the two police officials.

The report alleges that Roechner and Reid were involved in a criminal conspiracy to discredit Mayor Bob O’Dekirk in November 2020 when a former council member filed a police report alleging intimidation by the mayor.

Connolly could not be reached for comment.

City Manager James Capparelli in an email said the inspector general filed the complaint for decertification based on state police reports. State police investigated the intimidation charge against the mayor filed by former Council Member Don “Duck” Dickinson.

The decertification complaint against the two former police officials was filed March 16, with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, according to the news release issued by the city.

The complaint actually goes beyond what Connolly recommended in his report.

He recommended decertification for Reid, who now works as a police commander in Elwood. He did not recommend decertification of Roechner, who is currently retired.

Connolly did recommend felony official misconduct charges against both police officials.

No charges have been filed against Roechner and Reid. The inspector general and city do not have authority to prosecute.

Connolly recommended that the case be taken up by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which would not comment on whether it is looking into the matter.

The Joliet City Council does have the authority to take two other actions recommended by Connolly.

The council at a special meeting on March 13 declined to censure and reprimand Council Member Pat Mudron, which Connolly had recommended.

The council has not publicly discuss another action recommended by Connolly, who called for a public condemnation of former Council Member Jim McFarland.

Connolly in his report said Mudron and McFarland also were part of the alleged conspiracy.

McFarland on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Connolly, O’Dekirk and the city of Joliet alleging that he was defamed in the report and by O’Dekirk in comments the mayor made at the March 13 meeting.

The McFarland lawsuit denies any involvement in a conspiracy and contends that Connolly’s report makes allegations against him that are contradicted by reports from state police.

The lawsuit was filed early Thursday morning, several hours before the city issued its media release announcing the complaint against Roechner and Reid.