Des Plaines Police Leader Indicted for Inflating Traffic Safety Enforcement Numbers

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

FORMER DES PLAINES POLICE COMMANDER CHARGED WITH MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT DUI ARERSTS IN FEDERAL FUNDING REPORTS

CHICAGO — A former Des Plaines Police Department commander was charged today with making false statements in reports that concealed the suburban department’s failure to meet the requirements of a federally-funded impaired-driving enforcement campaign between 2009 and 2012.

The defendant, TIMOTHY VEIT, allegedly inflated by 122 the number of arrests for driving under the influence and provided false information regarding blood-alcohol content levels for the fictitious arrests. As a result, the charges allege that Des Plaines fraudulently obtained $132,893 in federal reimbursement for overtime compensation.

Veit, 55, of Mt. Prospect, was with the Des Plains Police Department for 31 years and was commander of the support services division until he retired last year. He was charged with one count of making false statements in a felony information that was filed today. No date has been set yet for his arraignment in U.S. District Court.

Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro

The charges were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Michelle McVicker, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

According to the charges, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct highway safety programs, including the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Locally, the grants were administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The STEP grants required intensive enforcement of specific traffic laws, coupled with other measures, at specific times of the year, particularly on major holidays when alcohol-involved and unbuckled fatalities were highest.

Veit served as project director for the Des Plaines Police Department’s participation in STEP enforcement campaigns and was responsible for certifying the department’s compliance with its terms and conditions, including the performance objective that grant recipients average at least one DUI arrest for every 10 hours of overtime worked by officers on impaired-driving enforcement.

STEP grant participants paid the program costs from local funds and then, after each enforcement campaign, submitted claims for reimbursement that covered overtime pay for officers, mileage, and equipment.

The reimbursement forms required such information as the identity of the project director, the total officer hours worked during each campaign, and the number of specific enforcement actions, such as DUI arrests, along with the blood-alcohol content level for each DUI arrest.

Between 2009 and 2012, the Illinois Transportation Department authorized a total of $170,366 in STEP funds for Des Plaines’ impaired-driving enforcement efforts.

After Veit collected and reviewed accurate information regarding the number of citations, including DUI arrests, issued by Des Plaines officers during each enforcement campaign, the charges allege that he then intentionally inflated the number of DUI arrests and provided false information about blood-alcohol content levels in the reimbursement forms.

Overall, between 2009 and 2012, Veit reported a total of 152 DUI arrests during STEP campaigns, when he knew that only 30 had actually occurred. The numbers allegedly reported and actually occurring in each year were: 2009 – 27 and 13; 2010 – 47 and 8; 2011 – 62 and 8; and 2012 – 16 and 1.

As a result of the false information that Veit allegedly provided, he caused a loss of $132,893 in federal funds that were reimbursed to the City of Des Plaines for impaired-driving enforcement campaigns.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Church.

Making false statements carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that the charges are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Comments

Des Plaines Police Leader Indicted for Inflating Traffic Safety Enforcement Numbers — 11 Comments

  1. They made 1 DUI arrest as an entire department and then reported 16 to receive grant money and no one else in the department thought there was something fishy going on?

    I mean when your whole department gives one DUI in a total year it’s kind of hard for the commanders to lose count.

  2. Makes one wonder how consistent the anti sheriff ept. crowd will be about their very dramatic concern over the “hatch act”?

  3. I do not believe it is wrong for a campaign “treasurer” to fax a campaign document from HER work place?

    IS IT?

    If so, can you please paste that law for us.

    Thank you.

    Have you seen any documents with the “Home State Bank” of Crystal Lake, fax or email addresses upon them from the Zinke campaign? I have.

    Many people don’t even have land lines from home anymore. Let’s not go down this road again. Let’s have a debate on issues, please?

    We’ve all had our fun and games, this time, we need to get serious about serious issues.

  4. C’mon. Nobody knows WHO sent it. Prim doesn’t work for Des Plaines any longer, does he? Could it be a surplus fax that he purchased? Somebody purchased? Who says his treasurer works for Des Plaines, does she?

    And Zebra… if you aren’t smart enough to realize the difference between a PUBLIC employee using government services/equipment/utilities for PRIVATE business and a PRIVATE employee using private services/equipment/utilities for personal use… Maybe you should just sit this discussion out as it’s way over your head. In the first instance it’s arguably a violation of criminal law. In the second, it might or might not be a violation of work place rules or even theft IF permission was not granted. In the case of a PUBLIC employee, permission can’t be granted as it’s illegal. Period

    Let’s wait until there’s something of substance to pick on. This ain’t it

  5. I actually couldn’t agree more about sticking to the issues…but this is kind of the stuff that has been thrown at the Sheriff’s dept to date, just looking to see if there would be consistency. I really didn’t expect anything but hypocritical responses from the sheriff’s dept’s critics.

    Technically, a public employee using public property for campaign purposes is not a good practice and in many cases a violation of campaign law and state ethics laws. Lets face facts, had Zinke done the same thing it would currently be in court with a request for a special prosecutor and Hatch act complaints would have been already filed. I doubt Zinke himself will stoop to the level of his critics and make it an issue. I was just having a bit of fun pointing out hypocritical behavior.

    I don’t think that is the troubling part however. I think the more relevant issue is that with all the corruption, investigations and controversy surrounding the Des Plaines Police Department I believe a candidate touting that as his experience at least owes an explanation of the different issues to the electorate.

    Not saying he knew anything or that perhaps no one is actually guilty but let’s at least hear his side of it.

  6. So I have read through Prim’s statements to date…and if he wants to stay off petty personal snide remarks and make actual law enforcement proposals I am struggling to find those quotes, but can find plenty of the personal snide implications.

  7. But yes there is a massive legal difference between campaign activities being done through private business property and public/government property.

    There is even a much larger legal difference between a private business employee campaigning from a work place and a government employee campaigning from a government workplace.

    But thanks for asking.

    One is much more legal than the other. ;)

  8. However my point wasn’t that law may have been broken…my point was that campaign activity was still connected to the Des Plaines PD.

    For consistency sake Zinke has been held to the standard that he has been held to account for the actions or alleged actions of his coworkers….at very least in turn Prim should be held to the same account for coworkers, supervisors and employees involved with his police experience.

    Right?

  9. are they – These were not Prim’s co workers and had no control over those employees.

    A little research will bring forth good info.

    He was NOT INVOLVED OR HAD ANY RESPONSIBILITY.

    It is a large police department in DesPlaines.

    I can say, however, when Andy Zinke referred to Greg Pyle (now in Federal custody for sexual abuse to children and child pornography) Zinke calling it a “domestic incident” is an issue.

    This was a man that Zinke had very close contact with and worked with on a daily basis. Z

    inke was his superior.

  10. So the controversies swirling around members and former members of the Des Plaines PD involve people that were not Prim’s co-workers?

    Ummm didn’t he work there?

    I thought he was some type of “management” level commander with the Des Plaines PD?

    Holy hypocrite, Batman.

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