A fired Chicago cop caught up in a plan to plant drugs and a gun in a suburban woman’s car got his job back after the city’s police board this month took a second look at the case.
The Chicago Police Board ruled Oct. 16 that Slawomir Plewa should be “reprimanded” for his misconduct, not fired — as the board ruled last year.
“He is extremely relieved and he’s exhausted from this entire process,” Plewa’s attorney, Dan Herbert, said Tuesday. “It’s been a long and arduous legal battle.”
Plewa will be reinstated and receive back pay, a police source said.
Earlier this year, Cook County Judge Diane Larsen — citing a lack of evidence — ruled the board went too far when it chose to fire Plewa. The officer was charged in 2008 in connection with a scheme to plant drugs and gun in a suburban woman’s car. Though a judge later found Plewa not guilty in that case, the same judge criticized Plewa for allegedly lying on the witness stand in a related criminal case.
In July 2013, the police board voted 8-1 to fire Plewa based on that alleged lie and what the board said was a lie on his original police application form. Plewa denies that he lied on his Chicago Police application form.
Plewa appealed and in April of this year, Larsen said the board failed to look at any evidence from Plewa’s criminal trial in reaching its decision. By itself, the alleged lie on the application doesn’t warrant Plewa’s firing, Larsen wrote in April.
Attorneys for Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy then asked Larsen to reconsider her decision. In August, Larsen changed her April ruling in one significant way by saying, “The police board may issue its decision on discipline without any restraint from this court.”
Despite that freedom, the board chose a less severe penalty this time.
“Because the misconduct took place more than eleven years prior to the filing of the charges, and based on the respondent’s extensive complimentary history during those eleven years … and his lack of prior disciplinary history, the Board determines that a reprimand is the appropriate penalty …,” the board wrote in an Oct. 16 ruling.
Max A. Caproni, the police board’s executive director, said neither he nor board members comment on their decisions.