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Former FOP president, under fire for speaking to media, to learn fate next month

Dean Angelo Sr., president of Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times file photo

Former Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President Dean Angelo. | Sun-Times file photo

Dean Angelo, Sr., the former president of the union representing rank-and-file Chicago police officers, was subject to a Fraternal Order of Police disciplinary hearing Tuesday after the union filed a charge against him for speaking to the media during the Jason Van Dyke trial.

Angelo — who was ousted as union president last year but is still a voting member of the union board — will learn of any possible punishment at a hearing set to be held the first week of January, according to a source close to Angelo.

Angelo, who was FOP president when Van Dyke fatally shot Laquan McDonald, did not respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that current FOP 2nd Vice President Martin Preib filed a charge against Angelo on Oct. 5 — the same day Van Dyke’s guilty verdict was announced — alleging Angelo was out of line when he spoke to reporters at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Martin Preib (from left), Kevin Graham and Jason Van Dyke

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, in the tan suit coat over a bulletproof vest, is escorted into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse by Martin Preib, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police (left), and FOP President Kevin Graham. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times photo

If Angelo is found in violation of the FOP Constitution, he faces punishment ranging from a sanction to expulsion from the union.

Preib alleged that the former union president was acting as a spokesman for the union without permission to do so.

In fact, Van Dyke’s wife, Tiffany, had asked Angelo to be the family’s spokesman during the trial.

“Throughout this ordeal, Jason, myself and our two daughters became very close personal friends with Dean and his wife, Claudia,” Tiffany Van Dyke said in a statement Wednesday. “They were very supportive of our family. During the trial, we asked Dean to speak on our behalf to the media. We were very grateful that he did speak to the media on our behalf so that we could keep some privacy for our family during this difficult time.”

According to the source close to Angelo, Tiffany Van Dyke wrote a letter to the FOP board — on which Preib sits — letting them know the family had asked Angelo to be their spokesman during the trial.

Preib, in the charge, 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 several of the interviews Angelo gave during the trial, he qualified them by first saying he was not acting as a spokesman for the FOP.

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.”

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