A former police officer whose 18-year career in Forest Park ended with a federal conviction was released Friday, Sept. 4 from a prison in Arizona. Mike Murphy, a once-decorated sergeant, has spent the last 12 months in prison following a misdemeanor conviction for violating a suspect’s civil rights. The sentence was the maximum under the terms of Murphy’s plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Also in accordance with the agreement, Murphy is prohibited from ever working again in law enforcement.

Initially, he faced a possible 30-year prison term for felony charges that he beat a suspect in 2003 and falsified a police report to hide the abuse.

Murphy is a recipient of the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, the state’s highest award for officers. During the course of his own criminal proceedings, Murphy never lost the support of many Forest Park officials, many of whom wrote letters to the court seeking leniency, or attended his sentencing hearing as a show of support.

Murphy’s wife and sister are employed at village hall. A relative of Murphy’s said the family had no comment on his release.

-Josh Adams