Facing firing, police sergeant quits amid accusation of taking bribe from diver who later found Anthony Rizzo’s wedding ring

Marine Unit Sgt. Eduardo Beltran allegedly accepted the bribe in 2017 from diver Yohei Yamada, who three years later gained attention when he recovered the former Cubs first baseman’s ring from Belmont Harbor.

SHARE Facing firing, police sergeant quits amid accusation of taking bribe from diver who later found Anthony Rizzo’s wedding ring
A Chicago Police Department shoulder patch.

A Chicago police patch.

Sun-Times file

A Chicago police sergeant resigned while facing dismissal for allegedly taking a bribe from a diver famous for recovering former Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s wedding ring from the bottom of Belmont Harbor, the Chicago Police Board announced Thursday.

Marine Unit Sgt. Eduardo Beltran accepted the bribe in April 2017 from Yohei Yamada, who wanted access to the Chicago Harbor Lock to recover a lost boat propeller for a client, according to a charging document filed with the board last April.

“Beltran accepted approximately $1,000, for personal use ... in exchange for using his official CPD position to gain access to the Chicago Harbor Lock to recover a lost boat propeller for Yamada’s client,” the document states. “Beltran utilized CPD equipment, resources, and/or personnel to effectuate the propeller recovery.”

On Feb. 1, Supt. David Brown moved to withdraw the charges because Beltran quit. The board voted Thursday to affirm the move, ending the disciplinary case.

Beltran allegedly covered up the incident by approving a false dive report written by a second police officer, Michael Michalik. The two allegedly let the diver use police sonar equipment.

In the charging document, Brown recommended Beltran and Michalik both be fired. Michalik previously resigned from the department and Beltran was suspended without pay, a police spokesman said last year.

Yamada, the diver, gained attention in July 2020 when he recovered Rizzo’s wedding ring that slipped off his finger into Belmont Harbor.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek

The Latest
Jordan Jackson, 22, faces three counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer, one count of possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, Chicago police said.
Mr. Wiley started as a copy clerk in 1952, working from midnight to 8 a.m., and attending classes at Northwestern University during the day.
A man was wounded by a security guard during a shootout at Millennium Park.
Ms. Osborne earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University. She was a founding member of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
David Smith, complete streets manager at the Chicago Department of Transportation, sat down for an interview recently to answer cyclists’ most pressing questions.