Another Forest Park police officer is under internal investigation by the Forest Park Police Department. Forest Park Police Chief James Ryan has confirmed that Officer Tom Hall was questioned last week by Village Attorney Mike Durkin as part of a formal investigation of Hall. An attorney from the Fraternal Order of Police, the police union representing Forest Park police officers, was with Hall when Hall was questioned by Durkin, sources say.
Hall is being investigated for perjury, Ryan said. In May, Hall testified at the Dan Harder termination hearing before the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners that then-assistant state’s attorney Frank Serio told him of a three way conversation among Ryan, Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine and State’s Attorney supervisor Colin Simpson, during which Devine allegedly told Ryan that Forest Park Police Sergeant Mike Murphy should either be fired or buried in the evidence room.
Ryan has denied that the conversation ever occurred. Serio has signed an affidavit denying that he ever told Hall of such a conversation.
“There was a complaint filed against Hall,” Ryan confirmed on Monday. “His testimony contradicted the affidavits of Colin Simpson and Frank Serio. There is not much more we can say.”
Sources say the complaint against Hall was filed on June 2, shortly after his testimony in the Harder hearing. Ryan did not indicate who filed the complaint against Hall.
The attorney who is representing Ryan in the Harder termination hearing, Patrick Lucansky, tried to introduce Serio’s affidavit into evidence at the Harder hearing, but it was ruled inadmissible hearsay.
A copy of the affidavit was provided to the Review. In it Serio writes: “6) At no time did I participate in or listen in on an alleged three-way telephone conversation among Richard A. Devine, Colin Simpson, and Chief James Ryan wherein it is alleged that Mr. Devine or Colin Simpson told Chief Ryan to either bury Murphy in the evidence room or fire him. 7) I never had a conversation with Officer Tom Hall of the Forest Park Police Department or anyone else wherein I allegedly told officer Hall that the aforesaid three-way telephone conversation took place. 8) Because I know that the aforesaid alleged three-way conversation never took place, I could not have, nor would I have told Officer Hall that it took place.”
Durkin questioned Hall for approximately three hours on Aug. 22. Ryan said he has not yet received a transcript of the interrogation. He said he will review the transcript before deciding whether to file formal charges against Hall. As of now, no formal charges have been filed against Hall, who is currently on medical leave after injuring himself in a non-work-related motorcycle accident, Ryan said.
If internal charges are filed against Hall, he would be the third officer to face internal charges in the past year. Ryan has filed charges seeking to fire both Harder and Lt. Steve Johnsen. Forest Park has 38 police officers.
Commissioner Patrick Doolin, who is an announced candidate for mayor, was outraged by the investigation of Hall.
“This madness has got to stop,” said Doolin. “There was plenty of contradictory testimony in the Harder hearing. To focus on someone who gave favorable testimony to Dan Harder is unfair. This is nothing except retaliation and intimidation. This is just the next step in Jim Ryan’s and Tony Calderone’s scorched-earth policy.”