Firing of Stephen Peterson is upheld by circuit court – read the Judge’s decision

Stephen Peterson

Stephen Peterson

Today, Judge Terence M. Sheen rejected an appeal by Stephen Peterson and decided to uphold the Police and Fire Commission’s decision to fire him from the Oak Brook Police Department.

Peterson was fired in 2010 after he testified at Grand Jury about receiving guns and money from his father, Drew Peterson, shortly after Stacy Peterson went missing, effectively interfering with an ongoing investigation.

The younger Peterson argued that guns were often lent between police officers and that he was unaware of an investigation at the time that he accepted the guns from Drew Peterson.

But, in truth the story of Stacy Peterson’s disappearance was already on the news when the gun hand off happened on October 30, 2007, and even Stephen testified that he had accepted the guns because they were his father’s “favorites” and that Sergeant Peterson didn’t want them to be damaged when they were seized, which indicated that they were both aware of an ongoing investigation.

Judge Sheen’s decision concludes that:

“In this case, it was in no way arbitrary or unreasonable for the Board to conclude that Officer Peterson exhibited conduct incompatible with continued service as a police officer. Therefore, this Court finds that Officer Peterson’s conduct, when viewed in its entirety, warrants the sanction of discharge.”

Peterson had already appealed the decision of the commission but it was denied. He also filed a federal law suit which was dismissed in November of 2012.

Today’s decision:

Peterson has indicated that he will appeal this decision.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune


34 thoughts on “Firing of Stephen Peterson is upheld by circuit court – read the Judge’s decision

  1. WOW! This Decision-Affirming-the-Firing-of-Stephen-Peterson-son-of-Drew-Peterson could not be clearer! The judge called the Peterson bluff what it is… B.S. Jr is gonna land himself a cell next to his pappy if he doesn’t get his head on straight and fly right!
    Thanks, Facs for providing this Decision for us!

  2. I’m snickering into my tea over the redundant forms of address used in the decision above.

    Esquire after someone’s name indicates they are a man, so it’s not used if they are already identified as a Mr, (as in R. Smth, esq…..for women it would be R. Smith, (Mrs) or (Miss) or (Ms) as required).

    T.L. Cummings (Ms) may be due an apology. tee hee

  3. I’m glad you tax payers there aren’t having to pay him any compensation. So glad to read a spade being called spade.

  4. “Esquire” is a term that is often used to denote an attorney, much the same as M.D. is used after a doctor’s name.

  5. Bucket, here in the states Esquire indicates attorney. It is not uncommon for a women attorney to use it after her name; Jane Doe, Esquire.

  6. No I don’t believe DP thought about his children at all…his focus was greed…Stephen knew he was wrong…he could have stood up to his father..and said no…but I guess a lot of people couldn’t say that to him…his new residence for the next 34 yrs will maybe teach him to humble himself….with a whole new set of house rules…

  7. Bucket, you are so welcome. We are all the same yet different.

    Anna, I agree with you that Drew gave no consideration to anyone, especially the children. In Stephen’s case he was not an impressionable young man, but an officer of law. He knew what Drew was asking was not right. He had to know deep down this would be the outcome.

  8. I’m sure that Drew was very proud of having a son who followed in his footsteps. No doubt Drew also bragged about how a “good officer” who knows his stuff can get away with lots of things……..above the law and all that.

    Both Drew and Stephen knew this was wrong — they just believed they’d get away with it.

  9. If I recall, Stephen had already been sanctioned something like four times by his superiors. I don’t remember the infractions, but it was apparent that he had an attitude and believed he was exempt from the rules.

  10. The old saying goes..”The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”…experiences in life have shown it can be true…the tree needs to be chopped down and removed …his brother and sister need a new environment…away from the and I both know he wasn’t pleased with the outcome…and hearing from the bitter man sitting in prison for the next 34 yrs..isn’t going to boast their self esteem…the aunt in California would be a breath of fresh air…if that’s possible….

  11. I still hold out hope that either Kris or Tom will be able to remember Stacy enough to realize that not everything their father has said is the truth. As teens get out on their own, away from their parent’s influence, they tend to begin to think for themselves.

    At some point, they have got to see that there have been some strong inconsistencies between their own memories of Stacy and what Drew has been feeding them.

    Maybe they will be the ones to save Lacy and Anthony from a life filled with hatred and vitriol aimed at their mother and her family.

  12. Personally, I try not to assume so much about the private lives of people I don’t know.

    One thing I’ve learned after following these cases for so long is that plenty goes on behind the scenes that isn’t shared out in public, especially when it comes to the children…and it isn’t all terrible.

  13. Thanks Facs. I agree.
    I’m glad you’ve offered confirmation of my belief that “it isn’t all terrible” 😉

  14. I really don’t know what would be worse, growing up knowing your dad killed your mother or thinking that he had. I have a friend whose mother went missing when she was 7, she is now 40. They never found her mother and they never were able to convict her father, but all her life she believed he did it. She lived with that father until she was 16. She has never stopped looking for her mother or answers to what happend to her. Her father dangles information and then laughs and said he is kidding. No matter what happens you have to feel bad for the kids including Stephen, although some of what he is going through is self inflicted, some of it is the Drew effect.

  15. Facs, I know only from my own personal experience of being married to a narcissistic, borderline sociopath for almost twenty years that they MUST continue the mantra that they are innocent and everyone who doesn’t agree with them must be destroyed. Over twenty years later I still hear snippets from my grown children of how their father still portrays me or anyone who doesn’t agree with him as a monster.

    Luckily, they caught on once they moved out of his grasp. Everything he did revolved around portraying himself as the “good guy” and he used money as his bargaining chip. Agree with him and the money flowed freely. Don’t agree with him and the money was immediately shut off.

    Their own personal experiences didn’t jibe with his constant harangues and they began to see the light. My middle child once told me that his only “job” while he lived with his father was to tell him how much he (my son) hated me. If he continued to tell his dad that, then the kid was home free and able to do pretty much whatever he wanted.

    As I said, they have all seen the light and are now parents themselves.

    I hope that both Tom and Kris will be able to sort out the truth of their mother and her family rather than rely solely on what their father has relayed to them. Same thing with their memories of Stacy. They will be critical keys to help Lacy and Anthony grow up with a healthy capacity to love.

  16. Since I don’t personally know these people and what decisions are being made about child care and such, I’m not going to presume anything about the situation.

    These are real people, not extensions of our imaginations nor projections of people we know or used to know.

    I’m certainly not going to assume anything about what’s going on in their heads nor their hearts.

    And as far as speculation….there’s really no point to it unless you’ve got a wager on the results or are a self-proclaimed medium with something to prove, IMO.

  17. Still more docs being prepared by court reporters:

    03/22/2013 Report of Proceedings 3-5-13 PREPARED BY CHRISTINA BASIS-PRINZI
    03/22/2013 Report of Proceedings 7-19-12 PREPARED BY CHRISTINA BASIS-PRINZI

  18. and more…

    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 2-20-13 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 11-16-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 9-4-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings8-28-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 8-21-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 8-8-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 7-24-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 6-6-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 5-25-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 5-4-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 10-12-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS
    03/25/2013 Report of Proceedings 10-30-12 PREPARED BY MICHELLE PANOS

  19. Interesting that the dates of the proceedings extend to before and after Drew’s trial, which means that the appellate team will examine more than just what occurred during the actual trial.

    For instance the court record for 6/6 is from a pre-trial hearing for motions. These were the judge’s ruling for that date:

  20. Burmila rejected a defense motion on the potential pool of jurors. About 175 potential jurors previously filled out a questionnaire and were admonished not to follow news of the case. Peterson’s jurors likely will be picked from the original pool set aside in 2009, despite objections from his defense attorneys
  21. Burmila sided with the prosecution in ruling that evidence Peterson owned a lock pick is admissible in court. The defense said there was an inference that Peterson used it and said there is no information as to how the Savio’s killer got in the home.
  22. Burmila partially sided with the defense regarding the admission of TV interviews Peterson had given. Three videos were denied while four were deemed admissible. However the transcripts from the videos are admissible. The videos are from various news outlets.
  23. Burmila gave a partial victory to the defense in banning, for now, testimony about a demonstration an expert did with a woman of Savio’s size to recreate how she died. The judge said an expert’s testimony will be limited to his observations of the bathtub.
  24. Burmila cleared the courtroom of media during arguments over whether statements from Rev. Neil Schori will be allowed in the trial. Prosecutors said they want Schori to testify that Stacy Peterson told him she saw Drew Peterson return home late, dressed in black and carrying a bag of women’s clothing shortly before Savio was found dead. Burmila said he’ll rule on that question next week.
  25. Burmila ruled that prosecutors must provide a daily notice of potential witnesses.

  27. Story by 89 WLS Reporter Bill Cameron
    (CHICAGO) The man who convicted Drew Peterson, Will County States Attorney Jim Glasgow, is telling 89 WLS Reporter Bill Cameron how glad he is the infamous trial was not televised.

    You may have wished the Drew Peterson case was televised, but not Jim Glasgow.

    “I shudder to think because based on behavior outside the courtroom I’m glad in this particular case that we didn’t have cameras in the courtroom,” Glasgow said.

    When Cameron asked what could have happened, Glasgow replied, “It provides an opportunity for a stage play and acting that could have gone to an extreme.”

    Glasgow said, as it was without cameras, Drew Peterson’s defense attorneys engaged in what he called almost a ‘Three Stooges’ kinda thing and he says they kinda came apart at the seams at the end.

  28. 3rd suspicious inmate death at Menard

    Posted: Mar 27, 2013 11:37 AM CDT
    Updated: Mar 27, 2013 11:38 AM CDT


    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Authorities are calling the death of Menard Correctional Center inmate Tuesday night “suspicious.”

    It is the third such death of a Menard inmate in less than two months.

    Randolph County Coroner Randy Dudenbostel says the 35-year-old man was declared dead in his cell in the prison’s segregation unit at 10:36 p.m. Tuesday. The man had a cellmate even though he was in a segregated cell.

    Neither Dudenbostel nor Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano would identify the man. Dudenbostel says an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

    Solano says the prison was locked down Wednesday during an investigation.

    Tuesday’s inmate death is the third suspicious death at Menard since Jan. 31.


  29. I think Glasgow is missing many great opportunities to hone in on the benefits that a televised (or at least filmed) testimony can give him. I can think of several instances in Georgia where there was a witness on the stand whose testimony, using both their spoken word and their physical affect, either clinched or broke open the case.

    One good example is Andrea Sneiderman, who is now in jail as an accessory for the murder of her husband. Her boss (Hemy Neuman) was tried and convicted for his murder last year. In the trial, it was suggested that Hemy and Andrea were having an affair and Hemy’s Defense Team tried to show that Hemy murdered Andrea’s husband based on Andrea’s suggestion and badgering of Hemy. (Hemy ostensibly loved Andrea and would do anything for her.)

    During the testimony, Andrea was very defensive, claiming that she and Hemy were only boss/employee. HOWEVER, it was during the testimony that Andrea let something slip.

    Her best friend and father-in-law disclosed on the stand that Andrea called them when she was on the way to the hospital, saying that her husband had been shot and she was going to see him. They swore that she said he had been shot. Testimony from the Daycare director and police, however, say they were careful not to tell Andrea what had happened — only that an “accident” had happened at the Daycare center and she needed to get to the hospital right away.

    When Andrea was questioned on the stand, she said that she was told only that there was an accident and it wasn’t until she arrived at the hospital that the physician told her it was her husband.

    BINGO! BOTH her best friend and her father-in-law had said she knew, en route to the hospital, that her husband had been shot. How did she know that?

    She is now in jail, awaiting her own trial in the murder of her husband. While a transcript of the trial would have been sufficient to indict her on these charges, her arrogant tone of voice as well as her emphatic gestures will leave no doubt as to her intended meaning. Without the video, a good Defense Attorney would be able to plant doubt in a jury’s mind as to what she REALLY meant. They could play the “grieving widow” card. But, with the video, they can’t play that card.

    You can see an InSession report about Andrea’s testimony — but this is before the day that she testified about the phone call from the Daycare director.

    (funny that the crawler at the bottom of the screen shows that Drew Peterson’s trial was going on at the same time! I forgot about that.)

  30. The Vaughn case “stayed below the radar” to some extent because of the trial of Drew Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

    Peterson’s case drew international attention, and his trial overlapped with Vaughn’s last summer.

    In Peterson’s case, the investigation and prosecution were helped at times by serendipity, Glasgow said.

    After Glasgow decided to exhume Savio’s body in 2007, he learned the vault — where her body was stored for the last three years — was not properly sealed.

    Half her body was decayed, “but the parts we needed were not,” Glasgow said.

    After a further autopsy, investigators discovered evidence to help disprove the original cause of death — that she slipped and died in the bathtub. They found no bruises on her buttocks and three separate bruises elsewhere, making the slip-and-fall theory unlikely, Glasgow said.

    But the prosecution faced other hurdles, such as the court’s refusal to allow anyone to testify about Peterson’s possible financial motive in killing Savio. The couple divorced in 2003.

    “But we proceeded with the case we previously had put together,” Glasgow said.

  31. Too bad that a reporter for the Chicago Daily Law included erroneous info in her story – like saying that the passage of “Drew’s Law” got the hearsay evidence admitted, when we all know it was what almost kept the hearsay evidence out of the trial.

  32. Sue Savio Sue will be the guest speaker at the Zonta Club of Kankakee Annual Luncheon, Sunday, April 7, Hilton Garden Inn of Kankakee. Reservations are required and the cost is $40 per person. This event is a fundraiser to support local agencies that help victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

    Reservations and payments for the luncheon can be sent to: Zonta Luncheon, 106 Julie Drive, Kankakee, IL 60901. Mailed invitations are not being sent for this event. For program sponsorship and advertising opportunities, contact Amy Carmack at 815-715-7635 for more information.

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