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Why Is This Man Still A Cop?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 18, 2014 10:45PM

Richard A. Rizzo (Image via Chicago Police Department handout.)
The Sun-Times has an article worth reading about Richard A. Rizzo, a 17-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who has amassed a rap sheet so lengthy that Police Supt. Garry McCarthy wants Rizzo fired.

Rizzo has been the subject of 29 separate investigations, been suspended seven times and is currently on an unpaid suspension, has been arrested four times on charges ranging from aggravated assault to domestic battery and has been pulled off the street and had his police powers stripped from him twice in the past three years. Rizzo also features prominently on the list of police officers with misconduct cases filed against them released by the Emanuel administration in July. Rizzo, a “repeat offender” according to the report, has three disciplinary cases pending against him.

The Sun-Times lists some of Rizzo’s greatest hits.

Oct. 27, 2001 — While Rizzo was still under investigation for the same fight, a convicted felon died of a drug overdose while sleeping on the couch in an apartment Rizzo shared with someone. Rizzo’s roommate — another convicted felon — told investigators he’d known Rizzo for a year and lived with him for five months but never told him he’d been in prison. Police rules bar cops from fraternizing with criminals. But investigators decided they couldn’t prove Rizzo knew his roommate was a felon. So he got only a two-day suspension — for failing to report his current address and phone number to the police department. The case was closed on Jan. 9, 2003, under Hillard.
March 22, 2009 — Rizzo reported someone stole his 2008 Dodge — and two handguns, his hat shield and body armor, all left in the car. Investigators determine the car was repossessed. Rizzo was suspended for three days for failing to secure his guns and hat shield. The case was closed April 19, 2010, under Supt. Jody Weis.

Rizzo’s current suspension stems from a December 2012 incident where he and his fiancée got into a row at a gas station in suburban Burbank where the fiancée grabbed his police handgun and tossed it onto Cicero Avenue. She then recovered the gun from the street, brought it back to the gas station and stepped on it when Rizzo tried to stow it. McCarthy moved to have Rizzo fired last month. Among the charges McCarthy cited to have Rizzo fired: bringing “discredit upon the department.”

The $64,000 question: why did it take someone this long to move to fire Rizzo?