20 of Fiorito's DUI cases dropped

November 16, 2009 8:23:29 PM PST
Charges were dropped in some of the cases involving Chicago Police Officer Richard Fiorito, who is accused of making false DUI arrests.The Cook County state's attorney ordered the charges be dropped on Monday.

Since ABC7 first showed dash cam video taken from inside Officer Fiorito's squad car, the CPD removed him from the streets and placed him on desk duty. He can no longer make DUI arrests or be used as a witness in court cases.

New dash cam video from Fiorito's squad taken on August 4, 2009, was released Monday. Fiorito wrote in his police report that the man staggered and couldn't do the walk-and-turn test. However, the man's attorney said that's not the case- or what the video shows.

"They're not pass-fail tests, but I would say he's passing," said April Preyar, DUI defense attorney.

The man's DUI charge was dismissed last week. More than 20 other DUI cases have also been dropped in recent weeks.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez' office confirmed Monday that in DUI cases in which Fiorito is the only officer involved, Alvarez has ordered assistant state's attorneys to dismiss them because in spokesperson Sally Daly's words, Fiorito is no longer 'credible.'

"That is major. That's really awesome that Anita Alvarea is finally doing the right thing," said Preyar.

Last week, the state's attorney's office said Fiorito had been used only once as a witness since being put on administrative leave. However, sources tell ABC7 tonight he was used at least seven times up on the witness stand.

Thirty-seven plaintiffs -- many who say they were followed by Fiorito after leaving gay and lesbian bars in Boystown -- are part of a federal civil suit against him.

"My clients will not be satisfied until Officer Fiorito is charged with the crimes that he has committed," said Jon Erickson, defense attorney.

Another interesting development -- ABC7 has learned that at least 20 people arrested by Fiorito and convicted of DUI in recent years are now trying to get their cases dismissed as well. On Thursday, activists are planning a protest in front of police headquarters. They're demanding that Fiorito be fired.

ABC7 has tried contacting Fiorito's attorney several times in the past few weeks - but he has not returned our calls. Firoto and his attorney did deny all the allegations in the original story in the lawsuits back in October.


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