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Local News

Sexual harassment, theft allegations between Braidwood police brass

Nick Ficarello
Nick Ficarello

BRAIDWOOD – Braidwood's deputy police chief has filed a federal harassment complaint against the police chief.

Deputy Chief Michelle Soucie filed charges last month with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which the agency is investigating. The EEOC investigates workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation complaints.

Michelle Soucie confirmed she filed the complaint against Chief Nick Ficarello and the city of Braidwood, but declined to give additional information. Her husband, Al Soucie, a former Braidwood police officer, referred other questions to the couple's attorney, who had no comment.

The complaint charges that Ficarello subjected Michelle Soucie to sexual harassment, retaliation and a violation of the American Disabilities Act. Michelle Soucie has been with the department since 1998 and was named deputy chief soon after Ficarello was hired in April 2015.

According to a source, Ficarello made inappropriate comments to his deputy chief during the time they worked together. Michelle Soucie was put on administrative leave in January. Another source told The Herald-News the allegations against Michelle Soucie involved "payroll issues."

"I believe [the EEOC complaint] is in retaliation for the theft allegation she's being investigated for," Ficarello said Tuesday.

Ficarello planned to speak with Braidwood City Attorney Brian Kopman to discuss further comment to The Herald-News.

Ficarello served as a Will County sheriff's deputy from 1978 to 2009 and narrowly lost in the Republican primary for the 2014 sheriff's race.

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