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Is An Anti-Gay Cop Being Let Off the Hook?

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Jan 15, 2010 8:30PM

When we were alerted to a tip, earlier this week, from the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) that the Cook County States Attorney's office was planning to let the embattled Chicago police officer Richard Fiorito off the hook, we were a bit unnerved. The officer is currently the subject of 37 civil lawsuits alleging the police veteran repeatedly singled out gay, lesbian and other drivers for false DUI charges. In some cases, he is said to have used anti-gay slurs toward motorists.

Last we'd reported on the Fiorito controversy in October, the officer had been placed on desk duty and forbade from serving as a witness in court against DUI-charged motorists pending an investigation into the accusations. But Andy Thayer, GLN co-founder, reported in a press release Wednesday that "sources within the office" had leaked information that the States Attorney Anita Alvarez was "planning on not prosecuting" Fiorito. This, despite what appears to be a mounting pile of evidence, including video footage, implicating the controversial cop.

In response to Thayer's claim, a spokeswoman from the Attorney's office, Sally Daly, told that the allegations were false:

"I don't know where that rumor is coming from," Daly said, adding that Alvarez has not made any decision regarding the officer. "The investigation remains ongoing." ... These investigations, she added, can take time. "You can't put a time and date on it," she said. "It's a pretty involved process."

The gay community led-effort to get Fiorito, who served in the 23rd District - i.e. the heart of Boystown, off the streets has been ongoing since last spring.