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Suit: Burnham allowed man to pose as cop


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  • Suit: Burnham allowed man to pose as cop


    Suit: Burnham allowed man to pose as cop

    September 11, 2008

    Sun-Times News Group

    A man who was pulled over by a faux police officer in Burnham has sued the village and police department, accusing the department of allowing an unqualified man to arrest citizens without just cause.

    Jospeh Ivancich left his South Side home on Sep. 9, 2006, to pick up a prescription for his wife, who had cancer, when he was pulled over by Burnham police officer Thomas Gunther, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday.

    Gunther, carrying a gun and wearing a police uniform, approached Ivancich’s vehicle and accused him of speeding and having his driver’s license revoked.

    Ivancich denied speeding, and stated he was never notified of having his license revoked, the suit said.

    Gunther arrested Ivancich, impounded his vehicle and took him into the Burnham police station.

    Months after Ivancich’s arrest, Cook County sheriff’s police arrested Gunther -— who was not qualified to be a police officer in the state of Illinois or Indiana, the suit alleges.

    Gunther was appointed as a “Special Officer” to the Burnham police department in November 2005, the suit said. The position was unpaid, and required Gunther only to assist police officers in the town when necessary.

    The suit claims that Burnham Police Chief Peter Belos and Sgt. Jack Daley knowingly allowed Gunther to pose as a police officer despite his lack of training and certification.

    The suit accuses all parties involved -- Gunther, Belos, Daley and the village of Burnham -- of showing a “deliberate indifference to the safeguarding of the Burnham community.”


  • #2
    I saw this story on the news a few days ago. The story on the news had a few additional details to it, including: a) Gunther was driving a marked car when he pulled the litigant over, b) that the litigant didn't actually have a DL because he never drove, but had just jumped in the car for a quick drive to the drug store to pick up some medication for his sick wife, and c) that Gunther had already been fired from his special police position before this suit was brought, after he was arrested for making and selling fake police badges.



    • #3

      Man charged with selling police badges

      Published May 27, 2006

      SCHAUMBURG -- A Schaumburg man with hundreds of law enforcement badges--some authentic, some fake--got a visit from officers wearing real badges this week and on Friday was charged under a new state law prohibiting the sale of such emblems.

      Thomas Gunther, 62, of the 1000 block of Tiverton Court sold badges from police departments across the country, said Penny Mateck, Cook County sheriff's spokeswoman.

      Gunther, a part-time police officer in Burnham, turned himself in Friday and was charged with a misdemeanor and released on $1,000 bail, Mateck said. Burnham police officials could not be reached.

      A state law enacted this year, and proposed by Sheriff Michael Sheahan , makes it illegal to distribute, produce or sell badges without the consent of the law enforcement agency represented on the badge.

      Gunther sold an unknown number of badges--priced from $100 to $800 each--over the Internet and at collectors shows, police said.

      More than 200 badges, emblems, parts and clasps, and several copies of the law were confiscated Thursday in a basement workshop in Gunther's home, police said.

      During a two-month investigation, Gunther sold a fake Chicago police patrol officer's badge to an undercover officer for $375, police said.

      Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune


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