The following is a repost of this this article.
Attorneys for Terrance O’Brien, the first of two former Schaumburg cops to plead guilty to skimming drugs from police seizures and then using an informant to sell them on the street, are seeking to have his conviction vacated and charges dismissed.
Attorney Paul DeLuca said the post-conviction petition he filed in DuPage County is based on roughly 80 new pages of information he received last month after DuPage County prosecutors dropped all charges against a third former Schaumburg officer, John Cichy, in February.
Judge Liam Brennan now has 90 days to decide whether the petition has merit.
O’Brien, 51, of Palatine, pleaded guilty in March 2014 to four of 17 counts against him in exchange for prosecutors’ dropping other charges.
He pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, official misconduct, burglary and armed violence. He is serving a 24-year sentence that could be cut in half with good behavior.
Former officer Matthew Hudak pleaded guilty to similar charges and was sentenced to 26 years. His attorney Thomas Glasgow already has filed a similar post-conviction petition on his behalf.
DeLuca’s filing points to the use of a confidential informant during the police investigation into Cichy, O’Brien and Hudak.
The informant, who was arrested in Kane County in an unrelated drug trafficking case, told police he could “give them a police officer who was selling drugs.”
But after the officers were arrested, the former prosecutor and Carol Stream police ended up investigating the informant on separate theft and wire fraud charges.
According to the 10-page petition and the accompanying 109 pages of exhibits, the informant is accused of stealing a treadmill from a gym where he worked and selling it to a couple who were under investigation for cannabis trafficking. The treadmill was found during the trafficking investigation.
During the wire fraud investigation, the informant was accused of misleading gym patrons by running their credit cards into his account when they thought they were paying membership dues.
The informant was never prosecuted in either case, and the investigations were never disclosed to O’Brien’s previous attorney.
“If Terry was aware of potential issues with the informant that might impeach his credibility, he would not have been so quick to enter plea agreements with the state,” DeLuca said. “Terry’s plea really was not an informed, knowing, intelligent plea because he didn’t have all the facts because (former Assistant State’s Attorney Audrey Anderson) didn’t turn them over.”
DuPage State’s Attorney Robert Berlin has said the late disclosure of information relating to the informant in Cichy’s case had no legal bearing on the guilty pleas and sentences of O’Brien and Hudak.
O’Brien was arrested in January 2013 along with Cichy and Hudak. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alleged that for at least six months the three officers stole cocaine and marijuana from dealers and police seizures and then resold the drugs through an informant.
The investigation began Jan. 2, 2013, when police found about 9 ounces of cocaine in a Carol Stream storage unit. The search led to a former informant who said he’d been helping the Schaumburg officers deal marijuana and cocaine skimmed from busted drug dealers.
During the next two weeks, investigators captured the officers on video and audio surveillance as they made plans and carried out drug deals, often in police vehicles and while wearing their service weapons, authorities said. All three resigned from the police department shortly after their arrests.
All charges were dropped against Cichy on Feb. 13.