Friday, July 15, 2016

Ex-Elmwood Park police sergeant not guilty in financial exploitation case

A Norridge resident and former Elmwood Park police sergeant has been found not guilty on charges of financial exploitation of a senior and official misconduct.

Cook County Judge Joseph Michael Claps on June 29 acquitted the former sergeant, John A. Wasilenko, 41, of charges he stole thousands of dollars from an elderly man he had befriended four years ago.

The Elmwood Park Police Department put Wasilenko on administrative leave following his arrest, and he later resigned, according to his attorney, Ralph Meczyk.

"We're very happy he was exonerated of the charges," Meczyk said the week after the verdict. "He was an innocent man facing some very serious charges."

Elmwood Park Police Chief Frank Fagiano declined to comment on the outcome of the case, and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office also had no comment. Wasilenko's attorney said he didn't know where Wasilenko had found employment since he left the Elmwood Park Police Department.

A request submitted to the Cook County Circuit Clerk's Office for the judge's order explaining the reasoning for not-guilty verdict was still being processed this week, according to Monalinda Saldivar, chief deputy clerk for the circuit clerk's public information office. That document was missing from the criminal division's records system following the verdict at the courthouse in Chicago.

Wasilenko was arrested in January 2014 and charged by the Cook County State's Attorney's office following an investigation that began in December of 2012, after prosecutors alleged he wrote himself and cashed a $20,000 check from the bank account of an elderly person he had befriended.

Prosecutors alleged Wasilenko met the victim, a then-84-year-old dementia patient, when he was a police officer and responded to a complaint about a burglary at the man's home. The victim told police a large amount of cash had been stolen from his apartment, according to earlier reporting from the Tribune.

Between Dec. 4 and 5, prosecutors said Wasilenko cashed a check from the man's account into his personal bank account at a TCF branch location, according to the state's attorney. Wasilenko later told investigators that he had befriended the victim and helped him out by driving him to appointments and said the $20,000 was a "thank-you" gift for all the things he had done for him, according to Tribune reporting.

Full Article & Source:
Ex-Elmwood Park police sergeant not guilty in financial exploitation case

1 comment:

Nelson said...

I am sorry he was put through this and that he resigned. Now he's be a better cop if he came back with the knowledge he's gained about innocent people put through the ringer.