Embattled police chief of Schaumburg retiring - New York News

Embattled police chief of Schaumburg retiring

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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Schaumburg Police Chief Brian Howerton, whose department was rocked in January when three officers were charged with stealing cocaine and marijuana from drug dealers, announced Tuesday he is retiring.

Howerton, a 32-year department veteran who has served as chief since 2009, also was beset by personal controversy after a former girlfriend last year accused him of stalking her.

In a letter he wrote to village employees, Howerton didn't mention the arrests of his former officers. But he said the time was right for him to retire because he had been "cleared of any criminal charges" stemming from the allegations by ex-girlfriend Dawn Davis.

Earlier this year, Cook County prosecutors determined Howerton hadn't committed any crimes, though a village inquiry into his alleged actions involving Davis still is ongoing.

"There is never a good time to leave an organization you love. But there usually is a right time," Howerton said in his letter. "Now that my name has been cleared of any criminal charges after a yearlong investigation in which I was falsely accused, I have decided that, for me, that time is now."

His resignation comes as the department is still trying to recover from the stunning arrests of former tactical officers Matthew Hudak, Terrance O'Brien and John Cichy.

The three veteran cops were nabbed in a sting operation by federal and DuPage County officials for allegedly seizing drugs from dealers they arrested, then reselling the cocaine and marijuana.

All face a host of charges. The three resigned from the department following their arrests.

Howerton's annual salary as chief is $149,171. He plans to remain on the job until April 5.

A village official praised the job done by Howerton during his time in the police department.

"On behalf of the village, we are grateful for the 32 years of service that Chief Howerton has provided to our community," Village Manager Ken Fritz said in a statement.

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