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Local News

Bolingbrook Police Pension Board compels Drew Peterson to provide deposition

Attorney: Peterson could cite Fifth Amendment

In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson arrives for court in Joliet. Peterson is serving a 38-year sentence for killing Kathleen Savio, and is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. The Bolingbrook Police Pension Board voted unanimously Wednesday to compel Drew Peterson to provide deposition testimony in a case that will determine whether his pension should be taken away from him.
In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson arrives for court in Joliet. Peterson is serving a 38-year sentence for killing Kathleen Savio, and is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. The Bolingbrook Police Pension Board voted unanimously Wednesday to compel Drew Peterson to provide deposition testimony in a case that will determine whether his pension should be taken away from him.

BOLINGBROOK — The Bolingbrook Police Pension Board voted unanimously Wednesday to compel Drew Peterson to provide a deposition in a case determining whether his pension should be stripped from him.

If it is decided the former Bolingbrook police officer used his police training to kill his third wife, his annual $79,000 police pension could be taken away.

On Wednesday, the five-member Pension Board denied a motion by Peterson's attorney, Steven Greenberg, to quash the evidence deposition for Peterson.

Charles Atwell, a lawyer who specializes in pension funds, said Wednesday he's pleased with the outcome. Atwell, who filed the initial motion to compel Peterson's deposition, said he wants Peterson to testify "as part of [Peterson's] burden of proof" in the pension hearing.

But Greenberg said Peterson has a right to cite his Fifth Amendment rights when deposed. Whether he answers any questions will be up to Peterson, he said. It's also possible Peterson will refuse to participate, he said.

Prior to the board vote, Greenberg argued that he would go along with the deposition, but only if he had a list of questions in writing beforehand.

“I don't know what they want to ask him about. Hypothetically, if the question was going to be, 'Did you kill Stacy?' we would invoke the Fifth,” Greenberg said. “If the question is going to be, 'Were you in uniform on the day you found Kathleen?' we probably wouldn't invoke it.”

Atwell said it is "not his intention" to go outside the parameters of the pension hearing during the deposition.

Richard Reimer, attorney for the board, said Wednesday the next step is to find out whether the Illinois Department of Corrections' Menard Correctional Center will allow the deposition to take place at the correctional facility.

Peterson is serving a 38-year prison sentence at Menard and the Pension Board cannot order his release to testify before them. The Open Meetings Act prohibits the Pension Board from holding the hearing outside the village.

If IDOC denies, Reimer said the board would likely file a motion with the Will County Circuit Court to compel his deposition.

“And that could take a long time. Weeks, months,” he said.

Reimer said the deposition would be conducted at Menard Correctional Center with a court reporter and all three attorneys — Reimer, Atwell and Greenberg — present. Two board members could also attend.

Peterson, who served as a Bolingbrook police officer from 1977 to 2007, was convicted in 2012 of murdering Kathleen Savio. Savio was found dead in a bathtub in March 2004. Her drowning was initially ruled accidental, but the case was re-opened when Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in October 2007.

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