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Local News

Joliet police officer Clement suspended for 25 days

Discipline believed to be tied to festival accusations

Joliet police officer Joe Clement has been suspended for 25 days.

The reason for the suspension has not officially been made known but a source said at least 20 of the days were for “providing false information about another employee.”

The source said the other employee is police Sgt. Lindsey Heavener.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk accused Heavener of being “drunk as a skunk” while working at Fiesta en la Calle in September, according to a memo penned by Police Chief Al Roechner.

Heavener later that night took blood and urine tests that showed no alcohol in his system, according to the memo.

Internal affairs interviewed Clement in connection with the allegations made by O’Dekirk, according to the memo.

Clement also is a member of the Joliet Park District board.

He could not be reached Friday for comment, but his attorney said the suspension is being appealed.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate, and we filed an appeal with the police board,” said Tamara Cummings, an attorney with the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council. “We look forward to clearing his name.”

Cummings said she could not discuss the reasons for the suspension.

Roechner could not be reached for comment but previously confirmed that Clement’s work duties had changed because of an internal investigation into the Fiesta en la Calle matter. He remained the officer assigned to the mayor but was no longer allowed to work out of the mayor’s office.

According to Roechner’s memo, Clement and O’Dekirk were the two people accusing Heavener of being drunk while working at the festival.

The memo quotes Clement saying, “I saw Lindsey with two tequila drinks in a red cup. He was drunk and slurring his words. I feel so bad, I had to tell the truth, I am not going to lie, and I almost puked today.”

Heavener later filed ethics complaints against O’Dekirk and council member Jan Quillman that have been investigated by law firm Ancel Glink. An attorney with the firm is expected to make a report to the council in closed session on Tuesday.

Quillman has said she did not make any accusations against Heavener and that the report should exonerate her. At a December council meeting, she called the investigation “a defamation of my character.”

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