Officer Who Raised $100K For Girls In Need Committed No Wrongdoing: CPD [Updated]
By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 17, 2017 6:24PM
Update, May 23:
The Chicago Police Department’s probe concluded that there was no misconduct on the part of Officer Charles Artz or any other officer involved, according to CPD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi. "The investigation into the funds raised by Sgt. Artz and his team was closed and found no wrongdoing of any kind on the part of the officers involved,” Guglielmi told Chicagoist by email.
Furthermore, Artz also strongly maintained he committed no wrongdoing. He supplied documents to Chicagoist in which the GoFundMe Management Team confirms that Artz does not and did not have access to the account that received funds via the campaign; and only the account belonging to the in-need grandmother received funds from the drive.
Artz said he was surprised to hear the investigation was closed and had not been notified of a determination. "From the beginning of this whole episode, all myself and my team wanted to do was help Delores and the kids," Artz told Chicagoist by email. "I am proud to announce that they are all doing fine and Destiny is thriving in school. To see where she has come to where she is now makes everything that I went through worth it."
A Chicago police officer is under investigation by CPD after he launched a viral GoFundMe campaign to raise money for three girls that he and other officers found living neglected last year. The department does not expect the officer behaved improperly, but is making sure everything was "proper" because the campaign was tied to the officer's personal checking account, according to a police spokesperson.
As reported first reported by ABC7, Police Sergeant Charles Artz is being investigated for violating Rule 52 of the Police Board Rules of Conduct. That rule stipulates that officers cannot solicit "contributions of any kind," including those for charity. The fundraiser garnered more than $100,000 for the girls, dubbed the Englewood Angels in the campaign, after police found the children living in substandard conditions. They were able to live with their grandmother and avoid foster care, thanks to the donations, the family told ABC7.
Rule 52 states, in part:
"Seeking or soliciting contributions of any kind from anyone, by any means, for any purpose, under any circumstances, including collections for charitable purposes by any member or his agent, group of members or their agents, and including any sale or solicitation by any member or his agent, group of members or their agents, of advertising for any police journal, magazine or other publication identified with the Chicago Police Department or any association of its members, except as specifically authorized by resolution of the Police Board."
The investigation was launched to make sure that all the funds were passed along to the grandmother and children, since the GoFundMe was tied to Artz's checking account, Chief CPD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told Chicagoist. "Even though this was an off-duty incident and we have no reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary, the department has a responsibility to ensure every penny was given to the family. This is an effort to ensure that everything was done properly," he said.
The family and community activist Andrew Holmes, along with the sergeant's union president, Jim Ade, were critical of the department's move, according to ABC7. "He didn't discharge his weapon on nobody, he didn't beat nobody, he didn't curse at nobody, I mean, he stepped out to help some babies," Holmes told the station.