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Local News

Okon: Kendall County sends a subpoena to Joliet

Former Joliet police officer Brian Nagra carries a stack of lawn signs while working for a local referendum campaign in 2014.
Former Joliet police officer Brian Nagra carries a stack of lawn signs while working for a local referendum campaign in 2014.

The Kendall County State's Attorney's Office this month issued a subpoena for closed City Council sessions concerning former police officer Brian Nagra and matters of police discipline.

What Kendall County States Attorney Eric Weis might be looking for is a matter of speculation.

But the fact that prosecutors are interested in City Council discussions suggests that they are interested in more than what Nagra did wrong.

Nagra faces charges of theft and official misconduct for allegedly falsifying payroll records to collect $10,063 more than he legitimately earned from 2014 to 2018. His case is up for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 27 in Kendall County Circuit Court.

It's hard to imagine that City Council discussions could provide any evidence that would help prove those charges.

It could provide some insights into how Nagra's termination was handled.

Nagra was taken off the job in January 2019. But he but stayed on the payroll past June 17, when Nagra reached a 20-year anniversary date that would allow him to begin collecting a pension at age 50 instead of waiting until he turned 60.

The extra 10 years of pension income is potentially worth $500,000 to Nagra.

The pension can be taken away if Nagra is convicted of the felony charges he faces.

Nagra resigned three days before the Joliet Board of Fire and Police Commissioners was to hold a hearing on his dismissal. The accusations against Nagra had never been made public and would have first been revealed at that hearing.

No charges ever were brought to the police board.

Assistant City Attorney Chris Regis had insisted for months that he had the authority to decide when the charges would be brought to the board and that the matter could not be brought to the board until Nagra's attorney was given sufficient time to prepare for the case.

“What would be unreasonable and irresponsible is to bring the charges before the parties are ready for a hearing,” Regis said at a March meeting of the board where the issue was hotly debated.

At that meeting, Regis said it can take "years" to bring termination charges to a hearing.

Roechner and then-Deputy Chief John Perona said they believed the charges should have been brought to the board 30 days after the termination paperwork was filed in January.

Suddenly in July, after Nagra resigned, Regis said charges had not been brought to the board because the police chief never filed the necessary paperwork – a claim he did not make before.

Just what was going on, according to one source, was a subject the council discussed in closed sessions.

• Bob Okon is a longtime Herald-News reporter. He can be reached at 815-280-4121 or bokon@shawmedia.com.

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