Rosemont mayor puts his nephew the police chief on leave for unspecified reasons

Sources told the Sun-Times that Mayor Bradley Stephens acted after being approached by members of his nephew Donald E. Stephens III’s department with concerns about his leadership and conduct.

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Rosemont Public Safety Supt. Donald E. Stephens III, who went on leave this week for unspecified reasons.

Rosemont Public Safety Supt. Donald E. Stephens III, who went on leave this week for unspecified reasons.

Village of Rosemont

Ever since Rosemont was founded in the 1950s in the shadow of O’Hare Airport by the late Mayor Donald E. Stephens Sr., the Stephens family has held a grip on power in the tiny but politically powerful northwest suburb and kept a tight lid on problems.

But Wednesday Stephens’ son and successor Mayor Bradley Stephens acknowledged that he has placed his nephew, Donald E. Stephens III, on leave as superintendent of Rosemont’s Public Safety Department, which includes cross-trained police officers and firefighters.

Contacted by the Chicago Sun-Times, the mayor — who’s also a Republican state legislator locked in a tough race against a Democratic candidate backed by Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan — declined to answer questions or come to the phone.

But a brief written statement from his spokesman said: “Rosemont Public Safety Director Don Stephens III has requested a personal leave of absence from his position. The mayor granted his request effective today.The Public Safety Department will continue to operate under its current chain of command.”

It quoted Bradley Stephens as saying, “I have full confidence in the integrity of our public safety officials and commanders.”

Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens, who has led the tiny but politically influential northwest suburb since the 2007 death of this father, the late Mayor Donald E. Stephens Sr.

Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens, who has led the tiny but politically influential northwest suburb since the 2007 death of this father, the late Mayor Donald E. Stephens Sr.

Rich Hein / Sun-Times

Donald E. Stephens III could not be reached for comment.

He makes more than $200,000 a year. It’s unclear whether he’s being paid while on leave.

Sources told the Sun-Times that the mayor acted after being approached by members of his nephew’s department with concerns about the public safety chief’s leadership and conduct.

The Sun-Times reported in July 2019 that the FBI had interviewed current and former Rosemont employees about a security contract given to a clout-heavy Chicago company and possible misconduct in the public safety department.

In 2015, Rosemont officials awarded a contract to Monterrey Security Consultants, Inc., to oversee security at village-owned venues including Allstate Arena, the Rosemont Theatre and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Records show Monterrey has been paid about $5 million for the work, which was awarded without Rosemont seeking competitive bids from other security companies.

Sources said at the time that the FBI’s interest included questions about whether members of the department illegally used and distributed narcotic painkillers. They also spoke of off-duty fights, steroid use and excessive-force complaints that yielded no punishment.

Donald E. Stephens III and Rosemont were sued in 2014 by former public safety Cmdr. Frank Siciliano, who said he was “pressured . . . to ignore illegal activities” including steroid use by members of the department. The lawsuit eventually was dismissed.

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