Stephen Franko

  • Recommendation Termination
  • Decision Termination
  • Length of process over 4 years October 19, 2014 to July 18, 2019 Closed

Charged with violating 5 rules on 20 counts

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Rule 14 4 counts

Making a false report, written or oral.

Rule 11 1 count

Incompetency of inefficiency in the performance of duty.

Rule 6 3 counts

Disobedience of an order or directive, whether written or oral.

Rule 3 6 counts

Any failure to promote the Department's efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals.

Rule 2 6 counts

Any action or conduct which impedes the Department's efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department.

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5. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 2 and Rule 3 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charges: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made, caused to be made, adopted, and/or approved one or more false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements on Officer Jason Van Dyke’s Tactical Response Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements included that McDonald’s actions constituted an assault, or words to that effect; and/or an imminent threat of battery, or words to that effect; and/or a battery, or words to that effect; and/or an attack with a weapon, or words to that effect; and/or deadly force, or words to that effect; and/or the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated: a. Rule 2, which prohibits any action or conduct which impedes the Department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department; and b. Rule 3, which prohibits any failure to promote the Department’s efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals. See the findings set forth in paragraph no. 4 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. Sergeant Franko was the first supervisor to arrive on scene, shortly after Mr. McDonald had been shot. At the scene, Sergeant Franko spoke with and observed Officers Van Dyke and Walsh. He specifically asked Officers Van Dyke and Walsh if they were ok, and both officers answered affirmatively. Sergeant Franko then drove Officer Van Dyke to Area Central, where the matter was to be further investigated. Sergeant Franko conceded that he saw no injuries on Officer Van Dyke and that Officer Van Dyke did not complain of any injuries. Sergeant Franko also conceded that Officer Van Dyke did not submit an Injury on Duty report, which would have been submitted if he was injured. Sergeant Franko, together with the other officers present for the McDonald shooting, stayed at Area Central for approximately three to four hours, where they were tasked with investigating the circumstances of the shooting. Sergeant Franko’s role in that investigation, among other things, included reviewing the Tactical Response Reports (“TRRs”) and Officer Battery Reports (“OBRs”) that Officers Van Dyke and Walsh completed (Supt’s. Exhs. 4, 5, 12, and 13), as directed by Deputy Chief McNaughton; Sergeant Franko also reviewed the Original Case Incident Report (Supt.’s Exh. 14). Under Department General Order 03-02-04 (Supt.’s Exh. 32), Sergeant Franko was required to review the TRRs and OBRs for “completeness and accuracy.” Sergeant Franko was to approve these reports only once he verified their accuracy. (See, Supt.’s Exh. 32, Sections IV(B) and (G)). Sergeant Franko was to further approve the Case Incident Report to determine if it was appropriate (See, Supt’s Exh. 33, which is Department Special Order S03-03-06, Section III(G)). During the three-to-four hour period that Sergeant Franko was at Area Central for the purpose of investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting, the in-car video of the shooting, taken from Officers Sebastian’s and Mondragon’s car was playing (Supt.’s Exh. 6). Detectives examined the video, and it was at all times accessible to Sergeant Franko. Sergeant Franko conceded that he saw “bits and pieces” of the dash cam video (including the shooting itself and when Mr. McDonald fell to the ground), but testified that, despite being tasked with reviewing the officers’ reports, he did not watch the entire video. He conceded that he could have watched the entire video, but instead spent the bulk of his time at Area Central renewing friendships and standing around. The Police Board finds Sergeant Franko’s testimony that he did not watch the entirety of the video incredible. A fatal, officer-involved shooting had occurred, and perhaps the key piece of contemporaneous evidence as to what had happened was available to Sergeant Franko for hours. Though assigned to review the written reports prepared by the shooter and his partner for completeness and accuracy, Sergeant Franko would have the Board believe that he did not take the six minutes and six seconds required in order to examine this dash cam video before signing off on key reports in the case. The Board declines to credit his testimony. Nevertheless, Sergeant Franko had an obligation to view the video in order to determine if the accounts given by Officers Van Dyke and Walsh were complete and accurate. The Board relies upon the testimony of Tina Skahill, Commander in the Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, and the terms of General Order 03-02-04, as well as Special Order S03-03-06, in finding that Sergeant Franko was required to examine the dash cam video. In the words of Commander Skahill, Sergeant Franko could not “put his head in the sand,” and instead was required to determine whether the Van Dyke and Walsh reports were complete and accurate. Therefore, the Board finds that at the time Sergeant Franko reviewed the reports, he at least “should have known” everything contained on the video. With those findings in mind, the Board holds that Sergeant Franko signed and approved the TRRs, OBRs, and Original Case Incident Report even though he knew or should have known that these reports contained materially false information.3 In particular: A. The TRR (Supt.’s Exh. 4), authored by Officer Van Dyke states that Mr. McDonald assaulted Officer Van Dyke, committed a battery against him with a weapon, and used force likely to cause death or great bodily harm. The Board finds, based on the dash cam video, the corroborating testimony of Xavier Torres, and the testimony of Sergeant Snelling, that these statements are false. Indeed, none of the officers on scene indicated to Detective March (Supt.’s Exh. 2) or to IPRA that Mr. McDonald battered Officer Van Dyke. Sergeant Franko knew or should have known of the statement’s falsity at the time he approved the report, as is evident from the dash cam video (the portions of the video he claims he did see and also the portions he purportedly did not see), his personal interactions with Officer Van Dyke at the scene, and the accounts given of the incident by the other officers on the scene later documented by Detective March (Supt.’s Exh. 2).4 B. The OBR (Supt.’s Exh. 5), authored by Officer Van Dyke, stated that three officers were battered by Mr. McDonald and the manner of attack was “stabbed/cut (including actual attempt).” The Board finds that the dash cam video, as well as the testimony of Xavier Torres and Sergeant Snelling, and the other officers on the scene demonstrate that neither Officers Van Dyke nor Walsh were battered and neither of the officers were stabbed. Nor did Mr. McDonald attempt to stab them. The Board further finds that Sergeant Franko knew or should have known these statements were false based on the dashcam video, Sergeant Franko’s own interaction with an uninjured Officer Van Dyke, and the reports of the other officers on the scene. C. Officer Walsh’s TRR (Supt.’s Exh. 12) and OBR (Supt.’s Exh. 13) contain the same false statements that appear on Officer Van Dyke’s TRR and OBR, including that Mr. McDonald assaulted Officer Walsh and committed a battery against him with a weapon, using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, and that three officers (including Officers Van Dyke and Walsh) were battered by Mr. McDonald, in that they were “stabbed/cut (including actual attempt).” For the reasons set out in paragraph 5 (A) and (B) above, the Board finds that Sergeant Franko approved these reports when he knew or should have known they were false. D. Officer Dora Fontaine completed the Original Case Incident Report (Supt.’s Exh. 14) and stated in that report that Officer Van Dyke was “injured by offender” and that both Officers Van Dyke and Walsh were victims in their encounter with Mr. McDonald. The dash cam video demonstrates that these statements were completely false. Sergeant Franko approved the report knowing the statements were false, based on his own interactions with Officer Van Dyke, the statements of the other officers on the scene, and the dash cam video. Footnote: 3 The Rule 2 and Rule 3 charges against Sergeant Franko allege that he “made, caused to be made, adopted, and/or approved one or more false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements” on Officer Van Dyke’s and Officer Walsh’s TRRs and OBRs, and on the Original Case Incident Report. Prior to the hearing, the Superintendent clarified that the Superintendent intended to prove that Sergeant Franko approved these reports when he knew these reports were false. See, the February 13, 2019, Pre-Hearing Order, at p. 3. 4 Even if Sergeant Franko only saw “bits and pieces” of the dashcam video, his decision to approve Officer Van Dyke’s TRR (and the other reports at issue here) as complete and accurate without bothering to look at the video would violate Rules 2 and 3. Rule 2 prohibits “conduct which impedes the Department's efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit on the Department.” Department policy is set out in General Order 03-02-04, and was clearly explained by Commander Skahill. The Comment to Rule 2 indicates the Rule covers “any and all conduct which is contrary to the letter and spirit of Departmental policy or goals.” Surely, Sergeant Franko’s alleged blind acceptance of demonstrably untrue facts in this TRR (and the other reports at issue) brought discredit on the Department. Rule 3 prohibits “Any failure to promote the Department's efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals,” and the Comment to this rule makes it clear that this “...applies to supervisory and other members who, through carelessness, inefficiency or design fail to implement all policy goals, rules, regulations, orders and directives of the Department...” While the Board is convinced that Sergeant Franko knowingly approved the false reports of Officers Van Dyke and Walsh, as well as the Original Case Incident Report, even if he was merely careless in failing to conduct a minimal examination of the evidence at hand before concluding the reports were complete and accurate he has violated both of these Rules. Sergeant Franko posited two defenses to the charges filed against him. First, Sergeant Franko contends that the charges against him should be dismissed because the Illinois Police and Community Relations Improvement Act (“IPCRIA”), 50 ILCS 727/1, implemented by Department General Order G03-06, requires that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (“COPA,” which replaced IPRA) conduct any investigation of an officer-involved shooting that results in death, and that lead investigators handling these cases must be persons certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board as a Lead Investigator. Sergeant Franko maintains that since the City of Chicago’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) took statements from him in connection with the pending charges and conducted the investigation that led to those charges, the IPCRIA was violated. The Board finds, however, that IPCRIA does not apply to the investigation of these charges. IPCRIA, by its terms, applies only to “officer-involved death investigations.” The charges against Sergeant Franko (and the other respondents here) do not allege that they caused the death of Mr. McDonald. Rather, the Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs and IPRA’s referral letters to the OIG (attached to the Superintendent’s Response to Sergeant Franko’s motion) make clear that this investigation relates to the veracity of the officers’ statements regarding the shooting and the possible violation of Departmental rules of conduct that occurred. As such, it is not an “officer-involved death investigation.” Further, the Board finds that IPCRIA did not become effective until January 1, 2016, after IPRA referred its investigation to the OIG, and General Order G03-06, on which Sergeant Franko relies, did not become effective until nearly two years after the OIG began its investigation. As such, even if IPCRIA governed this investigation (which it does not), the investigation pre-dated the enactment of the statute and General Order, and thus neither would apply here. Finally, IPCRIA does not provide for either dismissal of charges or suppression of the OIG statements taken (the other remedy Sergeant Franko sought). Sergeant Franko relies upon the Uniform Peace Officers Discipline Act, 50 ILCS 725/3-10, as authority to bar the use of Sergeant Franko’s statements, and he does not cite any authority for the extreme measure of dismissing these charges. The Uniform Peace Officers Discipline Act, however, is a different statute and does not govern violations of IPCRIA (if IPCRIA did apply). Therefore, there is no legal authority to support the relief Sergeant Franko seeks here. Second, while Sergeant Franko admits that he was bound by Department General Order 03-02-04 (Tr., at pp. 106-08, 663), and that it would be inappropriate to sign off on a TRR, OBR, or Original Case Incident Report that he knew was false (Tr., at pp. 96-99, 659-60), he contends that he had no obligation to review these TRR and OBR reports for “completeness and accuracy,” as General Order 03-02-04 provides in Sections IV(B) and (G). Rather, seizing on language from the TRR report itself, he claims that his only responsibility was to ‘ensure the legibility and completeness of this report.” Sergeant Franko maintains that he was only required to ensure that all of the boxes on the forms were completed, but that he had no responsibility to approve it for accuracy. He says that his job was to send the completed form up to Deputy Chief McNaughton for his review and approval. Sergeant Franko then went one step further, claiming that even if he has independent information establishing that the reports contain false information, he has no duty to correct them. The Board rejects Sergeant Franko’s attempt to convert his role as a sworn officer and supervisor into a clerical one. The terms of Section IV of General Order 03-02-04 clearly require field supervisors to ensure that TRRs and OBRs are “accurate and complete.” Sergeant Franko was the field supervisor for both Officers Van Dyke and Walsh. Commander Tina Skahill of the Department's Bureau of Internal Affairs, confirmed the Board’s reading of the General Order, and convincingly demonstrated how important it is that supervisors ensure the completeness and accuracy of TRRs and OBRs. Sergeant Snelling, who teaches use of force at the Police Academy, also testified that the supervising sergeant has a duty to review these reports for completeness and accuracy (see, pp. 73-74 of his testimony). The Board relies on the terms of the General Order and the testimony of Commander Skahill and Sergeant Snelling to reject Sergeant Franko’s defense that he had no duty to ensure that his subordinate officers told the truth in their reports.5 The Board finds that Sergeant Franko’s decision to sign off on reports he knew were false represents a major and serious failure of leadership. In order for Department policies to be followed in the field, it is critical that first-line supervisors like Sergeant Franko remain faithful to the Department’s rules and ensure that officers they command follow those rules. Sergeant Franko did not do that here. His effort to minimize his responsibilities both as it related to his viewing the dash cam video, and likening his review of the TRRs and OBRs to a clerical task is deeply troubling to the Board. The Board finds that his failure as a supervisor here was profound and contributed directly to the false way in which this killing was documented and investigated by the Department.6 Footnote: 5 Section IV(B) of the Department's Rules and Regulations provides that supervisors like Sergeant Franko “will be responsible for adherence to the Department’s Rules, Regulations, Policies, Orders and Procedures” and they “remain answerable and accountable for failures or inadequacies on the part of their subordinates.” 6 At the hearing, Sergeant Franko also objected to the admission of the TRR and OBR reports into evidence, as hearsay. This was improper in that during the pre-hearing process, Sergeant Franko had stipulated to the authenticity and admissibility of these exhibits. See, Pre-Hearing Order dated March 18, 2019, at p. 6. In any event, Supt.’s Exhs. 4,5,12, and 13 are not hearsay, as they were not offered to prove the truth of Officer Van Dyke’s statements but rather as relevant reports that Sergeant Franko was asked to review and subsequently approve. The information on the reports was false and Sergeant Franko knew it, for the reasons described above. The Board has determined the information on these exhibits was false based on the testimony and other exhibits offered at the hearing. 6. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 14 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charge: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made one or more false statements on Officer Jason Van Dyke’s Tactical Response Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false statements included that McDonald’s actions constituted an assault, or words to that effect; and/or an imminent threat of battery, or words to that effect; and/or a battery, or words to that effect; and/or an attack with a weapon, or words to that effect; and/or deadly force, or words to that effect; and/or the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated Rule 14, which prohibits making a false report, written or oral. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4 and 5 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. In signing and approving Officer Van Dyke’s and Officer Walsh’s TRRs and OBRs as complete and accurate, Sergeant Franko violated Rule 14. Sergeant Franko knew that Laquan McDonald had not battered Officers Van Dyke or Walsh, had not used force against them likely to cause death or great bodily harm, and had not attempted to stab or assault either of them. Sergeant Franko also knew that Van Dyke was not injured and that Van Dyke and Walsh were not victims. In nonetheless vouching for the accuracy of these statements, Sergeant Franko made willful and material false statements on these official police reports. This is not a case where a sergeant was asked to sign off on reports made by his subordinates in the field at the end of his shift when the sergeant was not personally familiar with what had happened in the field. Sergeant Franko knew from his own observations what had transpired, and he chose to perpetuate and affirm the false information Van Dyke and Walsh supplied rather than reject these false statements. His decision to approve these reports as accurate thus violates Rule 14. 7. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 2 and Rule 3 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charges: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made, caused to be made, adopted, and/or approved one or more false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements on Officer Jason Van Dyke’s Battery Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements included that McDonald “stabbed/cut” and/or attempted to “stab/cut” Officer Van Dyke and/or another officer, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated: a. Rule 2, which prohibits any action or conduct which impedes the Department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department; and b. Rule 3, which prohibits any failure to promote the Department’s efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4 and 5 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 8. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 14 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charge: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made one or more false statements on Officer Jason Van Dyke’s Battery Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false statements included that McDonald “stabbed/cut” and/or attempted to “stab/cut” Officer Van Dyke and/or another officer, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated Rule 14, which prohibits making a false report, written or oral. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4-6 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 9. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 2 and Rule 3 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charges: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made, caused to be made, adopted, and/or approved one or more false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements on Officer Joseph Walsh’s Tactical Response Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements included that McDonald’s actions constituted an assault, or words to that effect; and/or an imminent threat of battery, or words to that effect; and/or a battery, or words to that effect; and/or an attack with a weapon, or words to that effect; and/or deadly force, or words to that effect; and/or the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated: a. Rule 2, which prohibits any action or conduct which impedes the Department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department; and b. Rule 3, which prohibits any failure to promote the Department’s efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4 and 5 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 10. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 14 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charge: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made one or more false statements on Officer Joseph Walsh’s Tactical Response Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false statements included that McDonald’s actions constituted an assault, or words to that effect; and/or an imminent threat of battery, or words to that effect; and/or a battery, or words to that effect; and/or an attack with a weapon, or words to that effect; and/or deadly force, or words to that effect; and/or the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated Rule 14, which prohibits making a false report, written or oral. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4-6 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 11. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 2 and Rule 3 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charges: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made, caused to be made, adopted, and/or approved one or more false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements on Officer Joseph Walsh’s Battery Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements included that McDonald “stabbed/cut” and/or attempted to “stab/cut” Officer Walsh and/or another officer, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated: a. Rule 2, which prohibits any action or conduct which impedes the Department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department; and b. Rule 3, which prohibits any failure to promote the Department’s efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4 and 5 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 12. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 14 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charge: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made one or more false statements on Officer Joseph Walsh’s Battery Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false statements included that McDonald “stabbed/cut” and/or attempted to “stab/cut” Officer Walsh and/or another officer, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated Rule 14, which prohibits making a false report, written or oral. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4-6 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 13. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 2 and Rule 3 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charges: On or about October 21, 2014, Sergeant Franko made, caused to be made, adopted, and/or approved one or more false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements in the Original Case Incident Report (RD No. HX475653) related to the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald on or about October 20, 2014, at or about 21:57 hours, at or around the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago. Said false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or inconsistent statements included that Officer Jason Van Dyke was injured by McDonald, or words to that effect. Sergeant Franko thereby violated: a. Rule 2, which prohibits any action or conduct which impedes the Department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department; and b. Rule 3, which prohibits any failure to promote the Department’s efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals. See the findings set forth in paragraph nos. 4 and 5 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. 14. The Respondent, Sergeant Stephen Franko, Star No. 1537, charged herein, is guilty of violating Rule 2 Rule 3, Rule 6, and Rule 11 in that the Superintendent proved by a preponderance of the evidence the following charges: From on or about October 19, 2014, to on or about October 21, 2014, or for some period of time therein, Sergeant Franko failed to monitor one or more of his subordinates to ensure they maintained a practice of using audio in the in-car video systems; and/or failed to ensure the audio portion of the in-car video systems were used properly; and/or failed to verify that the in-car microphones were operational; and/or failed to initiate an investigation when notified of damaged and/or missing and/or lost equipment; and/or failed to maintain an accurate Supervisor’s Management Log. Sergeant Franko thereby violated: a. Rule 2, which prohibits any action or conduct which impedes the Department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department; b. Rule 3, which prohibits any failure to promote the Department’s efforts to implement its policy or accomplish its goals; c. Rule 6, which prohibits disobedience of an order or directive, whether written or oral, in that he disobeyed Special Orders S03-05 and S03-03-06; and d. Rule 11, which prohibits incompetency or inefficiency in the performance of duty See the findings set forth in paragraph no. 4 above, which are incorporated herein by reference. Most of the police vehicles under Sergeant Franko’s command were equipped with audio and video systems that were activated when the vehicle’s emergency lights were employed. The systems could also be turned on manually. This included the vehicles driven by officers on the night of October 20, 2014.7 Nevertheless, retired Sergeant Lance Becvar testified, without contradiction, that no audio could be recovered from any of those vehicles. Indeed, he testified further that the batteries for Officers Mondragon’s and Sebastian’s audio system were found in their glove compartment with the batteries either removed or turned upside down. Sergeant Becvar, who was then in charge of the unit that monitored the Department’s in-car audio and video systems, testified that when an officer began his or her shift, the officer was required to check that the audio and video systems were working. This included making a test video, ensuring that the microphones were working, and that the microphones had been synched properly to the video system. Department Special Order S03-05 (Supt.’s Exh. 34), Section VI (B) requires supervising sergeants, including Sergeant Franko, to: 1. Monitor subordinates to ensure the in-car video system is used; 2. Ensure that the Help Desk is contacted and a ticket number is obtained whenever any member is unable to use the in-car video system; 3. Initiate an investigation when notified of a missing or lost remote transmitter/audio recorder; and 4. Document on the Supervisor’s Management Log: (a) whether each vehicle has an in-car video system, and (b) whether it is functioning. Officers Mondragon and Sebastian conceded at the hearing that they did not check to see that their microphones were working or synched to the video system prior to the start of duty on October 20, 2014. Indeed, they testified they had a regular practice of not checking.8 Sergeant Franko testified that at the beginning of each shift, he sent a PDT message to each police vehicle, asking if their “cam” was operational. The officers were to respond yes if that was the case. Officers Sebastian and Mondragon did respond to the message with the phrase: “8779 working, TGIF,” with a happy face. Sergeant Franko also said that it was his daily practice to enter this in the Supervisor’s Management Log when the officers confirmed their cameras were on. While the Supervisor’s Management Log for the night of October 20-21, 2014, has been lost or destroyed, the Superintendent offered into evidence the Management Log for the preceding night (Supt.’s Exh. 15), which indicates that Sergeant Franko did not record whether the in-car video system was operable or not. The evidence clearly demonstrates that Sergeant Franko failed to discharge his responsibilities as a supervisor under Department Special Order S03-05. His inquiry as to whether the officers' “cam” was working did not relate to the audio system at all. He made no effort to monitor the audio systems in the cars, or his officers’ use of the audio system. This is apparent from the complete lack of audio evidence from the night of October 20-21, 2014. Officer Sebastian testified that if Sergeant Franko had asked whether her audio was operational, she would have told him the truth that it was not (Tr., at pp. 203-05, 210-11), but Sergeant Franko never asked. Nor did Sergeant Franko make any effort to visually inspect the officers he was supervising to see that they were wearing their microphones. His failure to exercise supervisory responsibility to ensure that the audio systems in his subordinates’ cars were working left investigators without critical evidence. Sergeant Franko clearly disobeyed and ignored his responsibilities under Department Special Order S03-05, and he is therefore guilty of violating Rules 2, 3 and 6. His conduct also was incompetent, and thus in violation of Rule 11. Footnote: 7 Officers McElligott and Gaffney, Velez and Bacera, Viramontes and Fontaine, Mondragon and Sebastian, and Van Dyke and Walsh all drove vehicles equipped with audio recording equipment. 8 Officers McElligott, Gaffney, Velez, and Bacera all received five-day suspensions for not having operational audio systems on the night of October 20, 2014. Officers Sebastian and Mondragon were charged in this case for violating Rules 6 and 11 for not ensuring that their audio system was working on the night in question, and did not contest these charges. Officer Viramontes is not charged in connection with his audio system, as Sergeant Becvar found Viramontes’s and Fontaine’s in-car video system was not working properly that night. 28. Sergeant Franko presented evidence in mitigation from Lieutenant Janice Roche and Sergeant Theresa Hickey. In addition, Sergeant Franko, who joined the Police Department in 1994, has a complimentary history of 65 total awards, including one Life Saving Award, two Department commendations, 52 honorable mentions, and two attendance recognition awards. He has one sustained complaint on his disciplinary history (a one-day suspension relating to two police radios missing from the 8th District radio room in 2015). Nevertheless, after thoroughly considering Sergeant Franko’s service as a police officer and his prior disciplinary history, the Board finds that his accomplishments as an officer and the positive evaluations of him do not outweigh the seriousness of his misconduct in this case. The Board finds that Sergeant Franko’s misconduct is incompatible with continued service as a sworn officer and warrants his discharge from the Chicago Police Department. The Board is convinced that supervising sergeants must be vigilant in following Departmental rules and policies themselves and in insisting that their subordinate patrol officers do so as well. Unless these supervisors commit to enforcing the rules, the Department’s policies will be ignored and disrespected on the street. This case presents a glaring example of a sergeant who abdicated his responsibility to lead as a supervisor and failed in his duties as a sworn officer by approving reports of a fatal officer-involved shooting that he knew, or should have known, were false, and in failing to ensure that his officers utilized the Department’s audio system. His position at the hearing that he had no obligation to assess the accuracy of the TRRs and OBRs Officers Van Dyke and Walsh submitted was particularly troubling to the Board, given the clear mandates of Department General Order 03-02-04 and Department Special Order S03-03-06. Sergeant Franko’s conduct brought discredit upon the Chicago Police Department and undermined its mission. Effective law enforcement depends upon a high degree of cooperation between the police department and the public it serves. Conduct such as Sergeant Franko’s fosters public distrust and a lack of confidence in the integrity of the Chicago Police Department, thereby significantly harming the Department’s efforts to achieve the important goals of preventing crime, preserving the public peace, identifying and arresting those who commit crimes, and promoting respect and cooperation of all Chicagoans for the law and those sworn to enforce it. The Board finds that Sergeant Franko’s conduct is sufficiently serious to constitute a substantial shortcoming that renders his continuance in his office detrimental to the discipline and efficiency of the service of the Chicago Police Department, and is something that the law recognizes as good cause for him to no longer occupy his office. The Board finds that his violations of Rules 2 and 3 are, by themselves, sufficiently serious to warrant his discharge from the Police Department. By votes of 9 in favor (Ghian Foreman, Paula Wolff, Eva-Dina Delgado, Michael Eaddy, Steve Flores, John P. O’Malley Jr., John H. Simpson, Rhoda D. Sweeney, and Andrea L. Zopp) to 0 opposed, the Board finds Respondent Stephen Franko guilty of violating Rule 2, Rule 3, Rule 6, Rule 11, and Rule 14, as set forth in paragraph nos. 5 – 14 above. As a result of the foregoing, the Board, by a vote of 9 in favor (Foreman, Wolff, Delgado, Eaddy, Flores, O’Malley, Simpson, Sweeney, and Zopp) to 0 opposed, hereby determines that cause exists for discharging Respondent Stephen Franko from his position as a sergeant of police with the Department of Police, and from the services of the City of Chicago. NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Respondent, Sergeant Stephen , Star No. 1537, as a result of having been found guilty of all charges in Police Board Case No. 16 PB 2909, be and hereby is discharged from his position as a sergeant of police with the Department of Police, and from the services of the City of Chicago. This disciplinary action is adopted and entered by a majority of the members of the Police Board: Ghian Foreman, Paula Wolff, Eva-Dina Delgado, Michael Eaddy, Steve Flores, John P. O’Malley Jr., John H. Simpson, Rhoda D. Sweeney, and Andrea L. Zopp.

Minority Opinions