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Local News

Joliet police clear Heavener, but council dismisses his complaints

A Joliet Police Department internal investigation has cleared Sgt. Lindsey Heavener (right) of allegations he was drinking while on duty. Mayor Bob O'Dekirk (left), who made the allegations, said he also expects to be exonerated of having done anything wrong.
A Joliet Police Department internal investigation has cleared Sgt. Lindsey Heavener (right) of allegations he was drinking while on duty. Mayor Bob O'Dekirk (left), who made the allegations, said he also expects to be exonerated of having done anything wrong.

The Joliet City Council on Tuesday dismissed the ethics complaints filed by a police sergeant against Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and council member Jan Quillman.

The council dismissed the complaints by a vote of 7-0 after meeting in closed session for nearly two hours, O’Dekirk and Quillman did not vote.

An attorney with Ancel Glink, which investigated the complaint, said the issues in the complaint do not apply to the city’s ethics ordinance.

Sgt. Lindsey Heavener filed the complaint after O’Dekirk allegedly accused him of drinking on duty at the Fiesta en la Calle in September.

“The allegations were for conduct that was not covered by the ethics code,” attorney Kefi-Lyn Krafthefer said after the council meeting.

Krafthefer did not comment on whether O’Dekirk made the statements.

“Even if people engaged in the conduct, it would not be a violation of the ethics code,” she said. “It could be legitimate for a mayor to have a concern about a police sergeant drinking on duty if that did happen.”

“I’m glad it’s over,” Quillman said after the council meeting. “I’ve been totally exonerated.”

A recently concluded internal investigation by the police department concluded that Heavener had not been drinking.

Police Chief Al Roechner said the internal investigation into the matter has been closed.

Heavener “didn’t do anything wrong. The finding is unfounded,” Roechner said.

Roechner that night took Heavener to a local hospital for blood and urine tests after getting a text from O’Dekirk that the sergeant was “drunk as a skunk,” according to a police department memo obtained by The Herald-News. Those tests showed no sign of alcohol, according to the memo.

Meanwhile, police Officer Joe Clement has been suspended for 25 days apparently for his role in the matter.

Clement, according to the police department memo, had joined O’Dekirk in saying he believed that Heavener had been drinking. According to a source, the suspension is primarily because of providing false information about Heavener.

Clement has appealed his suspension to the Joliet Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

Roechner said he could not comment on the Clement suspension while the appeal is pending. But he did say he expected the matter to be dealt with by the police board soon. He said the suspension paperwork has been turned into the city’s legal department.

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