Monday, July 28, 2008

Not A Smart Career Move: McLean County Illinois Deputy Sheriff Ramiro Bosquez Quits After Calling Stanford Police Chief Everet Copeland To Brag About Writing Mayor Traffic Tickets - Chief Loses His Job And Town No Longer Has A Police Department - Caught On Video

STANFORD, ILLINOIS — A McLean County sheriff’s deputy has resigned and the Stanford police chief has lost his job in the aftermath of allegations the town’s mayor was targeted in a traffic stop in March.

McLean County sheriff’s deputies will continue extra patrols of Stanford, said McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery. Stanford has not had a police department since mid-May.

The McLean County state’s attorney’s office, after reviewing a state police investigation, said earlier this week it won’t pursue criminal charges, said Emery Thursday.

Former McLean County sheriff’s deputy Ramiro Bosquez, then a part-time Stanford police officer, issued tickets to Stanford Mayor Margaret Campbell during a traffic stop March 21. They included failing to dim headlights when required, driving without working headlights and having an expired registration ticket. In late April, McLean County State’s Attorney Bill Yoder said evidence indicated Campbell was targeted and he dismissed the citations.

The Stanford Village Board voted unanimously Wednesday not to renew Stanford Police Chief Everett Copeland’s contract and to keep him on paid administrative leave until next Thursday, said Emery, who attended the meeting. The chief made no comment at the meeting, also attended by a couple of others with business with the village who then left.

In mid-May the board voted unanimously to put Copeland, a part-time employee of 13 years, on paid administrative leave. The only remaining part-time deputy was paid for scheduled hours through May’s end, but didn’t work because of no one to supervise him.

Copeland, who previously denied any of his officers has ever gone after anyone personally for a traffic stop or arrest said in April the mayor had a vendetta against him.

Bosquez resigned June 28, but has a job. “He went back to his previous position — he started as a tele-communicator with Metcom,” said the sheriff. A hearing was to be scheduled before the merit commission, but the officer resigned first.

Bosquez was placed on paid leave after the incident, and his permission to work in Stanford was revoked. In May, the sheriff said Bosquez was disciplined, but declined to be specific, citing confidentiality of personnel matters.

Emery said his department will help Stanford in any way they can to rebuild the department, including employee screening for police chief applicants.

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