McHenry County IL Press

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Archive for July 2006

Fear of lawsuits lead to a misleading article in Marengo IL

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Wow! Is this a misleading article!

 Talk about the NW Herald being too cowardly to tell the truth but yet still writing something just to say "they covered it".
1. Watch the tape. What do you see? I see State Police Officer Kroncke punching Hedio and knocking him out for 43 minutes. And believe me, I’ve watched the tape many, many times. I also see Kevin Gaughan jumping back the moment Kroncke hits Hedio.
Also, I certainly wouldn’t say anything to protect Officers DiGiovanni and Mahlke, who were holding Hedio against the wall. I certainly have nothing at all good to say about the MPD or those two, but they didn’t punch Hedio out!! Just watch the tape!
It is interesting. In this case, its actually NOT the Marengo Police who are mostly at fault for what happened. I certainly wouldn’t be saying this to protect them.
Why did the NW Herald say that they did? Because of fear of lawsuits and pressure from State Police lawyers who are protecting Kroncke. They are cowards. They should have not even come up with an article at all, rather than one that has false information in it!
2. Nowhere it is mentioned that Kevin Gaughan was slapped two times. Why? Because Kroncke slapped him. And the NW Herald cannot mention Kroncke’s name or actions, because of fear of lawsuits.
3. Kroncke and Schroeder’s names aren’t mentioned at all, in fact. Again, fear of lawsuits by the cowardly NW Herald.
4. Yes, very true. Hedio was not provided with medical attention and everyone ignored him and went about their business. However, I should mention that, again, if you watch the tape, you can see that Mahlke kicks Hedio into the cell, not really nudges him with his foot. Again, I’ve watched the tape more than once, many times. But you can see it for yourselves.
5. Let me ask this one. If the NW Herald is such an honest, independent source of news in McHenry County, why won’t they come out with the truth?
And why is it that the Gaughans were not allowed to take out a small ad a year and a half ago looking for other people with cases against the MPD, but William Kaper is allowed two full page ads every single week for his very obvious political agenda against the City of Cary?
I think we need to all question this supposed independent source of news for our County. Because most of the time we are not getting the full story.

Marengo IL
July 9, 2006

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Written by mchenrycountyilpress

July 9, 2006 at 9:41 am

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Timeline of Crawford Events in Marengo, IL

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Office Scott Crawford timeline of events.

Concerns raised April 2000: Officer Scott Crawford hired by the Waukegan Police Department.

April 2002: Crawford resigns from the Waukegan department amid allegations that he punched and kicked an 18-year-old man in November 2001 after he was handcuffed during the course of an arrest. A federal lawsuit filed against Crawford and the city of Waukegan is settled for an undisclosed sum.

February 2003: The Marengo Police Department hires Crawford.

June 2003: Crawford is the subject of an internal investigation for excessive use of force, which exonerates him.

February 2004: An internal investigation into Crawford’s handling of a warrant arrest prompts a memo expressing “comments of concern” but does not evolve into a formal complaint.

October 2004: Brian and Kevin Gaughan are arrested on numerous charges at Marengo’s annual Settlers’ Day festival, including aggravated battery to a police officer. They accuse Crawford of using excessive force, a charge he is cleared of by an Illinois State Police investigation. In March 2005, the Gaughans are charged with felony counts of filing a false report.

April 2005: The Marengo department places Crawford on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of three internal investigations related to him lying on his employment application, creating a “hostile” work environment and his role in a high-speed chase.

June 2005: The department suspends him and schedules a hearing to ask for his termination. The hearing has yet to take place.

July 2005: A federal lawsuit will be filed against Crawford and the city of Marengo on behalf of the Gaughan brothers for civil rights violations, excessive use of force, malicious prosecution and negligent hiring. The suit will also name three others as plaintiffs who allege Crawford of abuse and name two other officers as defendants.

Source: Daily Herald interviews, documents

This is July of 2006. What has been accomplished since this time? Crawford has resigned. He was offered $30,000 as a severance package. Given has resigned. Both have received a good reference and can still go on to work at other police departments. Neither has had criminal charges brought against them.
Despite mounting evidence against the police officers involved and the way the State Police investigated this matter, including videotapes that were released on this website: http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/, the charges against the Gaughans have not been dropped. Instead they are still facing the same charges while the court in McHenry County issues continuance after continuance in order to delay the trial.
We need people in Illinois to write Lisa Madigan, the Attorney General, in order to have her look into this matter. Please help us out.

Lisa Madigan
IL Attorney Generals Office
100 W. Randolf St
Chicago, IL 60601
312-814-3000
www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

Marengo, IL
July 10, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

July 9, 2006 at 8:40 am

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Caught on Tape – Marengo, IL

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It was all caught on tape. Officer Crawford worked in Waukegan, IL prior to being hired by the Marengo Police Department. He was forced to resign from Waukegan after a $30,000 lawsuit where he was caught on videotape hitting a prisoner who was in his custody. The man he hit, Jose Gonzales, was a Mexican immigrant. Scott Crawford accused him of stealing a car, which happened to be his own, and after he arrested him and put him in handcuffs, he went back and hit the handcuffed man two times in the face. The incident was caught on tape by vigilant neighbors who saw the incident.
This is very important, as this police officer was hired in Marengo in 2003. A thorough background check would have turned up the fact that this officer was fired from his last job. However, in Marengo, the police and fire commission does the background checks and the person doing them at the time was a retired postal worker! So, this officer was hired in Marengo and went on to brutally attack various young people, including Kevin and Brian Gaughan. Up to that time, whoever had false charges brought against them pleaded guilty and plea bargained. The brothers decided to fight back, with serious consequences. More charges were added against them as a result, including aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, damage to state property(this was when Officer Crawford put Brian Gaughan’s face through a wall), and filing a false complaint against a police officer. Officer Crawford has been forced to resign from the Marengo Police Department, but not because of these incidents. Instead he was offered a severance package of $30,000. The two brothers are still fighting the charges falsely made against them. Nothing is being done by the State’s Attorney’s Office to drop the charges, even though the Gaughans have over twenty witnesses who saw the incident and will testify for them in court.

Marengo, IL
July 7,2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

July 7, 2006 at 8:13 am

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McHenry County justice

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It has been on my mind how our justice system here in McHenry County has unfairly imprisoned people and charged them with crimes. I can’t help but wonder if this is a case particular to McHenry County or if it happens everywhere. Unfortunately, I have found an example that we can refer to, and that is what happened in New Orleans. The way people accused of crimes in New Orleans have been treated is truly horrifying. An organization from New Orleans called Safe Streets, Strong Communities did a study on how many days people were kept in jail without trial.They found the average number was 385 days. One person had been locked up for 1,289 days. None of these people have been convicted of any crime. Many of these arrests were for simple misdemeanors. Now, I cannot help but wonder how this could have been allowed to take place. Can you imagine if you got arrested (falsely or not)for, let’s say, disorderly conduct. Let’s suppose you were arguing with your husband or wife and someone called the police. Do you think it is right for you to be locked up for the next year awaiting a trial?
But, wait, you might say, what does this have to do with McHenry County? Well, look at the Gaughan case. The Gaughans were originally arrested over a year and a half ago. Almost two years. Yet the State’s Attorney issues continuance after continuance in order to postpone the trial. They do this because they know this will wind up costing the Gaughans yet more money and they are hoping that they will go broke and be unable to fight the false charges against them. Luckily, they are not sitting in jail as this is taking place. But there is no excuse for the constant delays, and if a person does not have the money to pay bail, then they would have to wait all this time in jail for a trial on charges that are not serious enough to even warrant that much jail time. What makes this even worse is that the only two witnesses against the Gaughans are both former disgraced cops who resigned in lieu of being fired. Both committed crimes which neither was charged with because of the State’s Attorney not wanting to bring charges against them. Instead they continued with the charges against the Gaughans. The firing of these two cops has cost Marengo tax payers over $100,000 so far. A few months ago the city administrator, Scott Hartman, said Marengo was in the red because they had spent over $100,000 involving a police lawsuit. Well, what the city spent that 100G on was the investigation, and the removal of Crawford and Given. None of that money was spent on the civil rights lawsuit. That is being paid entirely by the City’s insurance company, which has not even started using that money for anything yet. On top of that, the $100,000 that the City spent does not even count the $30,000 that Crawford received to resign nor any of the money Given might have received for her resignation. So, we are all paying the price for the police department’s and the State’s Attorney’s incompetence, not just those directly involved. I think this is something that we should all think about, as it might be ourselves or our children who might one day be at the mercy of the justice system here in McHenry County, as well as the rest of us, who will surely be stuck footing the bill.

Where is the justice in that?

Marengo, IL
July 5, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

July 5, 2006 at 8:11 am

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William Kroncke guilty of police brutality in Marengo, IL

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William Kroncke is a State Police Investigator whose job it was to investigate incidents of police abuse in Marengo. In the events in question, Kroncke was investigating the incident of Scott Crawford and attempting to find if he was guilty of police brutality against the brothers Kevin and Brian Gaughan. How did Kroncke do this?
Well, he started by asking Kevin Gaughan, the person who was making the complaint against the officer in question to go down to the Marengo Police Department with him. This is the place where the incidents of police abuse took place in the first place. One would have thought that a separate setting would have been more appropriate.
The problem, of course, was that William Kroncke had no intention of finding out what happened that October night or what Scott Crawford did to Kevin Gaughan and his brother Brian. If you watch the tape of the interview, Kroncke is seen yelling and screaming the whole time. He waves a chair around, bangs the table, and even does the unthinkable – hits Kevin Gaughan in the face and knocks out a prisoner who is brought into the police department.
http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/
Why does he do this?
According to Kevin Gaughan, Kroncke was attempting to get him to sign a false confession having to do with the burglaries that took place in a nearby subdivision, Doral Ridge. That is fairly obvious from the tape, as Kroncke waves the paper with the confession over and over again in front of Kevin Gaughan’s face, screaming, yelling, and attempting to describe to him what will happen if this confession is not signed. William Kroncke is quite a dramatic personality, so these actions are very easy to see and hard to mistake for something else. He also wants Kevin Gaughan to retract the complaint he had made against Officer Scott Crawford, who beat up his brother at the Settlers Day Carnival that year. When Kevin refuses to do so, he hits him in the face. Kevin Gaughan is placed into a jail cell two times in order to scare him, as well.
Does this take place all the time in the Marengo Police Department?
Apparently so. A man named Orest Hideo spent many days in the hospital after being taken down to the police station last November. He is the man that Kroncke punches out on the tape in question. Why was he arrested again in November, months later after the events in question? We don’t know. Another boy, Steven Beisner, was also placed into a jail cell after being interrogated by the Marengo Police. He was told that he would go to jail and should get ready to find a boyfriend there. Beisner was only 14 years old at the time. He also was a victim of Officer Scott Crawford.
This is a very scary situation. The State’s Attorney’s Office in McHenry County will not look into this matter. We need whoever reads this to contact Attorney General Lisa Madigan to look into this and help the Gaughans, who have serious charges still against them which they are innocent of.Lisa Madigan
IL Attorney Generals Office
100 W. Randolf St
Chicago, IL 60601
312-814-3000

www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

Marengo, IL
July 4, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

July 4, 2006 at 8:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Officer Scott Crawford of Marengo, IL

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The Gaughans spent almost 2 years fighting the false charges against them. It all started when Brian Gaughan, Kevin Gaughan, and their younger brother Patrick were at a Settler’s Day Carnival. Patrick, who was 15 at a time, saw a man who had stolen his skateboard. Brian went up to the man and started arguing with them. They both used quiet voices and were not disturbing anyone. However, Officer Scott Crawford, who was standing off to the side and smoking a cigarette, got more and more upset at the argument. Finally he came up to the two men and told them to leave. After Brian Gaughan and his brothers turned around and started walking away, Brian said “one, two, three” softly, his back turned to Crawford. Crawford then grabbed Brian from behind, threw him on the ground and handcuffed him. He proceeded to torture him, grabbing him by the handcuffs and pulling him up by them, then dropping him back down on his face, in the process causing Brian Gaughan wrist and upper arm damage. After this was done, Brian was on the ground, screaming, with his hands still cuffed behind his back. Hundreds of people saw the incident and twenty three of them came forward as witnesses. Seeing his brother in obvious pain, Kevin ran up to him and bent down next to him, attempting to help him. At this point Officer Kelly Given grabbed Kevin from behind and arrested him. Officer Crawford took Brian Gaughan, lifted him up by the handcuffs yet again and put his face through the police station wall. Later on a bill would be sent to Brian Gaughan Sr., the boys’ father, to pay for the wall that was broken with his son’s face.
The Gaughans have spent years and over $140,000 fighting these charges. No end seems to be in sight, as the judge in the case issues continuance after continuance, in order to cost the Gaughans more money and to prevent this from going to trial. The State Police refused to investigate this incident and found Officer Crawford not guilty of wrongdoing. The reason for this is that the State Police Officers in this case were friends of the Marengo Police Officers. You can watch what this investigation involves on this website:
http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/.After that, the Gaughans had their door broken down by the police, who had their guns drawn, in order to arrest them for filing a false complaint against a police officer. This is an endless ordeal and we need as much help as possible from you who read this. Please write to Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois:

Lisa Madigan
IL Attorney Generals Office
100 W. Randolf St
Chicago, IL 60601
312-814-3000

Marengo, IL
July 1, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

July 1, 2006 at 8:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized