Patrick Lucansky, the attorney for Police Chief James Ryan, opened the latest installment of the termination hearings of Forest Park Police Sgt. Dan Harder by asking the Board of Police and Fire commissioners to censure Harder attorney Jeanine Stevens.
Lucansky alleged that Stevens deliberately misled the Board by stating in a February 5 hearing that she might call Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine to testify. Lucansky also claimed that Stevens misled the board by suggesting that Devine, Assistant State’s Attorney Colin Simpson, and Ryan had a three way telephone conversation during which Devine allegedly told Ryan that he should either bury Sgt. Mike Murphy in the evidence room or fire him.
Under questioning by Stevens, Ryan testified under oath that no such conversation took place. Lucansky produced a signed affidavit from Simpson that stated no such telephone conversation took place and that he never advised Ryan on how he should deal with his officers. Simpson also wrote he had a 20-25 minute phone conversation with Stevens on the afternoon of January 5, 2006 and told Stevens that no such conversation took place.
He produced a letter, also dated January 5, that Stevens sent by fax to John Ouska of the State’s Attorney office. In the letter Stevens informs Ouska that she will not be calling Devine to testify in the Harder hearing and releases Devine from his subpoena.
Lucansky argued that these documents prove that when Stevens said at a February 5 hearing that she might call Devine to testify that she was misleading the board, as she knew Devine had never talked to Ryan about Murphy.
Lucansky claimed that Stevens violated the Illinois Supreme Court rules of professional conduct, which state that a lawyer shall not “(1) make a statement of material fact or law to a tribunal which a lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false: … (4) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false.”
Stevens denied that she lied, stating that “I was told by an officer of the Forest Park Police department that the conversation took place.” She did not identify that officer. Stevens acknowledged that Simpson denied the conversation took place but said that while Devine had no memory of the conversation he couldn’t be sure that it didn’t take place.
Board attorney Charles Hervas took the censure motion under advisement and said he would rule on it later. Even if Stevens were censured it would have no impact on the Harder hearing and would not be considered evidence, Hervas said.
Stevens had no comment when asked about the censure motion after the hearing.