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Secrecy in Case Involving Texting Police Officer Who Caused Illinois Car Crash

The Belleville News Democrat reported last week on the latest developing in a worker’s compensation hearing involving a police officer who recklessly killed two teenagers a few years earlier.

The arbitrator involved in the hearing connected to the high-profile officer who caused the car accident is seeking to keep the case secret from the public. It is only through the newspaper’s use of Freedom of Information Act they were able to discover information about the hearing in which the officer sought to receive money from the public. The hearing was moved to a different location and moved up several days in hopes of being conducted “on the sly” without public knowledge.

Of course, the secret actions taken on the issue has raised the ire of legal leaders in Illinois. The Illinois Attorney General’s chief of staff explained, “It is completely unacceptable for there to be any discussion to minimize press coverage or to thwart the public’s effort to attend a public hearing.”

Many community members are interested in the hearing because of the outrage around the police officer’s previous conduct. The trooper was involved in a deadly Illinois car accident in November of 2007 while conducting a high speed chase. The officer was following a runaway vehicle while traveling 126 miles per hour. While traveling at that speed the reckless officer was also talking on his cell phone and sending emails through the phone. He eventually lost control of the squad car and cause an accident involving a car nearby. That nearby car was carrying an 18-year old a girl and a 13-year old girl. Bother teenagers were killed.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti strongly believe in the public right to access to information of this sort. All community members are clearly interested in hearing about the developments related to this tragic case. Negligent driving on our roadways has the potential to affect anyone. Stamping out bad driving, even when conducted by police officers, is everyone’s concern.

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