The I-Team has learned that Illinois Labor Relations Board appointee Mike Joyce was arrested in 2009 in an incident that police say involved racial slurs from Joyce.
Gov. Quinn appointed Mike Joyce to the Illinois Labor Relations Board on Valentine's Day. The state board position pays more than $90,000 a year.
On Friday, though, the governor told the I-Team he was unaware of Mr. Joyce's run-in with the law, an incident that police say involved Joyce repeatedly using the "N-word" at officers.
"I don't know if he was trying to prove a point to somebody else or if he felt the testosterone going, but it was horrible, it was bad," said Jim Richards, witness.
Richards says he and three friends had come to Gibson's Steakhouse in Rosemont that day, Tuesday, June 2, 2009.
Richards says that a man, who he had never seen before, was drunk, began threatening them, trying to start a fight and spitting on the steakhouse floor.
Restaurant management called police.
"The gentleman who shouted the profanity and was spitting on the floors was then arrested and put into custody," said Richards.
Authorities handcuffed 43-year-old Michael J. Joyce and took him to Rosemont police headquarters where he was charged with disorderly conduct.
According to a Rosemont police report, that wasn't the end of it.
At the police station, the report says Joyce called one officer the "N-word" and then stated, "why am I chained to this bench, I'm not an "N-word."
Mr. Joyce, an attorney himself and longtime boxing coach at Leo Catholic High School, posted bond and was released.
When the case went to court, the manager of Gibsons, who was the complainant on the disorderly charge, didn't show up and the case was dropped.
A Rosemont police official says they were very unhappy not to see Joyce prosecuted because of what they call the verbal, racial abuse against their officers.
The I-Team asked Gov. Pat Quinn why he appointed someone involved in such a recent incident.
"I have known the man. He was a person that I have known for some time, but is there something in his record that needs to be looked into, we will," said Quinn.
Mike Joyce recently married Muhammed Ali's daughter 's Jamillah and Joyce's attorney told the I-Team that with a black wife and having trained numerous black athletes, such racial slurs would have been unlikely from Joyce.
The I-Team received this statement from the governor:
"As we do for all appointees, together the governor's office and Illinois State Police conducted personal and criminal background checks on Mr. Joyce. Neither the background check nor a personal interview revealed the 2009 incident where he was charged with a municipal code violation by the city of Rosemont. We have since received a copy of the incident report and are currently reviewing it."
Mr. Joyce's attorney said that his client had been "overserved that day" and admits being "three sheets to the wind..." but that he doesn't remember making any such comments.
E-mail statement on behalf of Mike Joyce From his attorney Daniel G. Berry:
"As a follow up to our telephone conversation earlier today, on the date of the incident in Rosemont regarding Mike Joyce, I spoke to Mike and this is the first time either (sic) or I became aware of these statements alleged in the report. Although Mike acknowledges being very intoxicated, he does not believe he made those statements.
Furthermore, he and I have sppken (sic) to Marquis Ball, who had not drank any alcohol and who was with Mike the entire time. Marquis stated that Mike did not say what has been alleged in the report. Marquis is a 25 year old African American man who has resided with Mike since he was 15 years old.
Mike was the legal guardian for Marquis for the last decade. Marquis is a fine young man who coaches high school football and like Mike, mentors young men on the southside of Chicago. I ask that you consider the context of this occurrence and the background of those involved before you render a judgment in this matter."