A veteran police lieutenant was reassigned last week after a one-day trip to Chicago by Attorney General William Barr caught Chicago Police Department leadership and the mayor’s office by surprise.
Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lt. Patrick Quinn was pulled from his position in the Crime Prevention and Information Center in police headquarters and sent to the Rogers Park District on the North Side after Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD brass learned of Barr’s visit during a conference call Nov. 17 — just a day before Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, was scheduled to arrive in Chicago.
Quinn could not be reached Tuesday and representatives for the CPD lieutenant’s union did not respond to inquiries. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office referred questions to the CPD, which declined to comment on Quinn’s move.
“All personnel decisions are made by the Chicago Police Department Superintendent and his leadership team,” mayoral spokesman Pat Mullane said.
The nature of Barr’s visit remains unclear, and a representative for the Department of Justice declined to comment on the attorney general’s trip. A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said Barr did not meet with anyone from the local federal prosecutors’ office.
Lightfoot was made aware of Barr’s trip during her weekly conference call with CPD leadership. Near the conclusion of the call, one officer noted some members of the department were monitoring for potential protests the next day, sources said. It was then that the officer disclosed to Lightfoot and CPD leadership that Barr would be in Chicago.
“That’s when the sparks started flying,” said a high-ranking CPD source familiar with the call.
The Crime Prevention and Information Center, known as CPIC, is a fusion center in the CPD’s Bronzeville headquarters that works to coordinate intelligence and law enforcement efforts among local, state and federal agencies.
At the time of his reassignment, Quinn was overseeing CPIC in place of Cmdr. Mel Roman, who was on furlough last week, according to police sources.
Quinn has been with the CPD for 19 years and is well-respected among his colleagues. “His institutional knowledge can’t be touched by anyone in this department. We are actually weaker now because of this,” another police source said.
Earlier this year, two other police officials were demoted and reassigned after a conference call with Lightfoot.
Sources previously told the Sun-Times that Ronald Kimble, the former commander of the CPD’s Narcotics Division, appeared to irk Lightfoot during a conference call in May. Shortly thereafter, Kimble and William Bradley, then the deputy chief of the CPD’s Criminal Networks Group, were demoted to the rank of lieutenant and assigned to patrol districts on the North Side.
Barr was also in Chicago last September, touting the efficacy of “Operation Legend,” a federal initiative aimed at curbing violent crime. CPD officials declined to join Barr at his news conference, which Barr said was “just the way things roll here in Chicago.” Lightfoot later told reporters the city would not be used as a “prop” by an administration that has continued to “bad-mouth Chicago, making misleading and outright false statements.”