The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Rumors Come True: Fiorito Avoids Criminal Charges

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Feb 3, 2010 6:40PM

Remember a few weeks back when the Cook County States Attorney's office denied a leaked rumor that Anita Alvarez would be letting the embattled, allegedly anti-gay, undeniably fishy Richard Fiorito off the hook? Turns out the rumor held some truth: As of Monday evening, Alvarez' office has ended its "nearly year-long" investigation into the allegations facing Fiorito and, perhaps unsurprisingly, has decided not to press criminal charges, ABC7 reports.

Dan Kirk, Alvarez' chief of staff who was recently revealed to have had a previous close working relationship with Fiorito's lawyer, explained the office's decision:

"Based upon that investigation, it was determined that there were a number of inconsistencies. A number of the witnesses had severe credibility issues. And it was ultimately determined we wouldn't be able to meet our burden which in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt."

As reports, Alvarez' claim of a thorough investigation seems questionable: An attorney familiar with the case said the office in actuality only spoke with four individuals in June - thus, it was only a one-month investigation. Gay Liberation Network co-founder Andy Thayer, who's led a campaign against Fiorito since the charges came to light last spring, said both the decision and its timing were "purely political." He was not surprised by the outcome.

Though Fiorito has evaded criminal charges related to the nearly 40 people who claim the officer wrongly charged them with DUI and, in some cases, targeted and harassed them for being gay, he will remain on administrative duty pending the conclusion of a CPD internal investigation. Additionally, he will not, as of yet, be used as a witness in DUI cases, and the federal civil lawsuits remain very much "on," it appears.