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Alvarez moves to fire investigators after escape

November 19, 2009 3:24:21 PM PST
The Cook County state's attorney is moving to fire two investigators connected with the September escape of convicted bank robber Robert Maday. Maday overpowered the pair, and then stole their guns and their car, as he was being transported to court. His escape set off a massive manhunt that led to his recapture.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says it is very clear to her that after an internal investigation the two investigators violated several policies and procedures. Alvarez says the pair ignored a supervisor's instructions to transport the Robert Maday on a car with a cage in the back seat.

Back in September, Nick Argentine and Joe Fallon were transporting prisoner Robert Maday from a Kankakee jail to the Rolling Meadows courthouse when the 39-year-old disarmed the investigators, switched clothing with one of them, hijacked their car and fled.

"This whole incident, quite frankly, infuriated me because of what transpired, and it posed a risk to so many people," said Alvarez.

Maday was on the run for 24 hours before he was caught. During his short life on the lam, Maday allegedly stole two more vehicles and robbed a bank before crashing a car while being chased by police.

Alvarez say all of this could have been avoided had investigators Argentine and Fallon performed their jobs correctly.

"It was clear that there were procedures not followed, and I would refer to it as being lax," said Alvarez.

Alvarez said the investigators violated procedure by taking Madday in a regular sedan rather than a car equipped with a backseat cage.

"If that car was unavailable, then one of the investigators needed to be in the backseat with the prisoner, which did not occur here," Alvarez said.

The incident has prompted some new training for investigators.

"We also had US marshals come in and demonstrate proper procedures," said Alvarez.

Alvarez said her office has also increased the number of cage cars available for investigators to use.

Nick Argentine and Joe Fallon are longtime investigators with the state's attorney's office. One is a former Chicago police officer, the other used to be on former cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine's detail.

Argentine and Fallon can appeal.


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