Officers' disciplinary proceedings in McDonald case delayed

The Chicago Police Board ruled Monday that several officers who had been suspended without pay in connection with the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by former officer Jason Van Dyke can return to duty.

The Chicago Police Board, which hands out discipline in cases of alleged officer misconduct, voted on Monday to put a stay on the officers' hearings, saying that evidence used against the officers in their police board hearings would jeopardize the admissibility of evidence in Van Dyke's trial, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

CBS 2 legal analysit Irv Miller, said the board was "concerned they were going to taint the jury pool, which could have meant the murder charge against Van Dyke would be dismissed and the charges against the officers, if they ever came about, could be dismissed".

Superintendent Eddie Johnson has suspended the four officers who were on the scene the night McDonald was shot and killed by Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham said that it was only fair to allow the officers to work and earn paychecks as the disciplinary process drags on indefinitely.

Sgt. Stephen Franko and officers Daphne Sebastian, Janet Mondragon and Ricardo Viramontes had been suspended without pay since last August, when CPD Supt.

Attorneys for Van Dyke and the other officers requested the proceedings be delayed out of concern their statements could prejudice Van Dyke's criminal case. However, today's ruling by the Police Board leaves me no choice but to reinstate the officers to a paid status.

The Chicago Police Board had been asked to postpone its work so the officers' statements during the internal investigations can't be used during the criminal trial. The cops could be fired for not answering questions in such an investigation. However, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says Johnson doesn't plan to let them return to street duty.