Judge scolds Chicago police supt.

March 9, 2009 4:32:33 PM PDT
A federal judge in Chicago scolded the city's police superintendent, Jody Weis, for initially defying a court order to turn over the list of officers who have repeated complaints filed against them.Judge Robert Gettleman lifted the contempt of court order on Monday morning after Weis released the list of names last Friday.

Despite that, the judge made it clear to Weis while the superintendent may think he is a noble contemptor, he still is a contemptor.

Weis was ordered to release the list as a request from the plaintiffs in a police brutality lawsuit.

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis walked out of court after receiving a tongue lashing from a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman scolded Weis for initially defying a court order by refusing to turn over a list of officers who have repeated complaints against them.

"It was never my intention to offend the court in anyway. I have the upmost respect for the court," said Supt. Jody Weis.

Despite an apology to Gettleman, the judge told the superintendent that no one is above the law and that his action flies in the face of everything this court stands for.

Weis has now turned over the list of names. Weis says he hesitated because he was and still is concerned about harming innocent officers.

"We cannot have officers who are conducting their work and have to make split-second decisions having any hesitation or being timid in any way, wondering if an allegation, which may or may not prove true, is made against them and they would be on a list," said Weis.

The list includes officers who not only have been accused of excessive force, but all cops with five or more complaints.

"You have officers whose names are on this list that, when the complaints were investigated, they were found to either have been unfounded, in which they never happened, or they were exonerated, in which the officers were found to be in full compliance with rules and policies," said Weis.

Weis was ordered to release the names after Donna Moore and her attorneys asked for the names Moore claims an officer beat her children while arresting them during a 2007 playground incident.

"As a citizen of Chicago, I have an expectation and the rest of us have an expectation that his paramount responsibility is the protection and safety of the millions of people in Chicago and not the 1,000 or so of those so called repeaters that are on the list," said Moore.

The list, which includes thousands of names, will not be released to the public. It is under a protective court order. However, Weis and city attorneys are concerned about the possibility of lifting that order in the future.

Meantime, as for part of the punishment for contempt of court, Judge Gettleman told Weis the city of Chicago is responsible for paying plaintiff's attorneys fees, which will probably amount to about $100,000.