A Chicago police officer has been accused of allegedly making dozens of false
A civil case against officer Richard Fiorito claims the veteran officer engages in a pattern of false arrests and then perjures himself in court testimony in order to rack up more than 300 DUI arrests each year, according to a report by ABC 7 news. Some of the plaintiffs also claim that Fiorito targeted them because of their race, and because they were seen leaving a bar.
Jon Erickson, attorney for the 21 plaintiffs, argued that Fiorito has an incentive to place so many people under arrest, and that it does not have anything to do with protecting innocent drivers on the road. Erickson is arguing that Fiorito is motivated by money.
"The more DUI arrests he makes, the more times he has to go to court, more times he goes to court, the more money he makes," said Erickson.
Every time Fiorito goes to court he makes time-and-a half.
Fiorito is currently being investigated by the Cook County state attorney's office, and the grand jury has been hearing testimony from witnesses who claim Fiorito placed them under false arrest.
One of Fiorito's victims is Susan Kolinek, who was ordered by Fiorito to take a
field sobriety test even though she told Fiorito that she could not follow his verbal instructions because she was deaf.
Fiorito ordered her to perform the tests anyway, and later told her, "You're not deaf, you're just drunk." Kolinek's DUI charges were later dismissed.
In a different case, Fiorito ordered a driver to perform standard field sobriety tests. Fiorito wrote in his police report that the driver was so intoxicated that he was unable to perform any of the tests. However, video surveillance shows the driver performing one of the best one-leg stand tests Erickson has ever seen.
Fiorito's attorneys claim the allegations are "false, unfounded, and patently frivolous."
Until the investigation is complete and formal charges have been filed, Fiorito can still be found on the streets of Chicago making DUI arrests.
Criminal charges are expected to be filed soon by the state attorney's office.
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