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CPD union targets former president for speaking to media during Van Dyke trial

Tiffany Van Dyke, center, sits with Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham, left of Van Dyke, and former Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo, right of Van Dyke, during a pretrial hearing for her husband, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke (not pictured), at the Leighton Criminal Court Building Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Chicago. | John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Pool

Tiffany Van Dyke, center, sits with Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham, left of Van Dyke, and former Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo, right of Van Dyke, during a pretrial hearing for her husband, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke (not pictured), at the Leighton Criminal Court Building Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Chicago. | John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Pool

On the day that Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of murdering Laquan McDonald, the Fraternal Order of Police — the union representing rank-and-file officers — turned its focus to another union member: Former president Dean Angelo, Sr.

Records show that the FOP’s Second Vice President Martin Preib filed a formal charge against Angelo on Oct. 5, the day the Van Dyke verdict was announced.

Preib maintained that Angelo was out of line when he spoke to reporters at the George Leighton Criminal Courthouse, arguing that the former union president was acting as a spokesman for the union without permission to do so.

Angelo declined to comment Monday since the case against him is still in progress.

Preib specifically pointed Angelo taking questions from and speaking with reporters about the death of disgraced and convicted former CPD Cmdr. Jon Burge on Sept. 19.

“He made inflammatory statements that were not condoned by the Lodge and which jeopardized the legal and media strategy of a high-profile criminal case against a fellow member,” Preib wrote.

That same day, Angelo addressed the then-ongoing Van Dyke trial with reporters “while representing himself as a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7,” Preib alleged. The next day, Angelo did the same, Preib said.

In bringing the charge against Angelo, Preib cited Article 2, Section 6 of the FOP Constitution, which mandates that union members “engage in and carry on such functions that will serve the best interests of this organization and our membership.”

A separate body within the FOP will determine the veracity of the charge and potential punishment. If Angelo is found in violation, he faces possible sanction to expulsion from the union.

Preib, who also serves as the union’s chief spokesman, did not respond to questions from the Sun-Times regarding Angelo’s charge. In recent months, the union has refused to answer questions from the Chicago Tribune and only rarely responds to Sun-Times inquiries.

However, Preib maintains an active blog and Twitter account that largely focus on his perceived shortcomings of Chicago journalists.

In a Sept. 19 Facebook post, the FOP was the first organization to confirm Burge’s death after hours of rumor and speculation.

In the courthouse lobby, Angelo reacted to his death by saying, “People picked a career apart that was considered, for a long time, to be an honorable career and a very effective career, and I don’t know that Jon Burge got a fair shake based on the years and years and years of service that he gave the city.”

Angelo served as FOP president for three years until April 2017 when he lost in a runoff election to Kevin Graham.