|NEWS > 03 November 2009
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The State Journal-Register
This article appeared in the above title/site.
03 November 2009
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|Sangamon County Sheriff's Offi
Was Gillette a rogue deputy or
John Gillette was either a rogue deputy or a “squared away” cop whose way of doing business was a model for others in the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office.
Department brass have said Gillette was the latter, even after he had accumulated dozens of internal-affairs complaints. But 42 people -- including accused criminals, people with no criminal records and law-enforcement officers -- say in those complaints that, during more than 13 years as a sheriff’s deputy, Gillette acted as a law unto himself. His detractors say Gillette was a man with a penchant for profanity and roughness who crossed the line into criminal behavior.
Gillette resigned last month, after courts ruled that internal-affairs files concerning him and other law enforcement officers are public records. The ruling was a landmark in a state where internal-affairs files have traditionally been treated as personnel records, exempt from disclosure under the state Freedom of Information Act.
As a result of the ruling, The State Journal-Register has obtained files on Gillette and other deputies and is seeking more records from Illinois State Police and the Springfield Police Department.
Meanwhile, police watchdog groups as far away as Chicago say they hope to use the lawsuit that made the records public in Sangamon County to open files in other parts of the state.
‘One of the worst cases’
By himself, Gillette racked up more complaints during his 13 years on patrol than the entire department generated in 2005, 2006 and 2007 combined. More than 70 deputies work for the Sangamon County sheriff’s department.
Based on the volume, seriousness and number of sustained complaints, Gillette should have been fired long ago, according to Samuel Walker, a University of Nebraska criminologist who is considered an expert on police misconduct.
“This is one of the worst cases I’ve heard, just hearing his record,” Walker said. “This sounds, really, pretty shocking. This officer should have been long gone. There’s a really serious failure here.”
That view is shared by Stephen Meyer, former head of internal affairs for the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, who said he would have fired Gillette if he’d had the authority.
“Given the frequency and severity (of complaints), there comes a time when the agency has to say ‘enough,’” said Meyer, who retired in 2001 but remains a sheriff’s chaplain. “I deemed law enforcement a profession. And you need to remove those who are not professional.”
Gillette, who is now working for a private entity (he declined to be more specific) in Afghanistan, called Meyer a “religious fanatic” who was out to get him and generated complaints by contacting people who had been arrested. While he admitted violating some rules, Gillette denied doing anything seriously wrong.
“The only thing I’ve been found guilty of is minor department infractions,” Gillette said in a telephone interview. “I’m not saying I’m an angel. It’s obvious that I’m not. I did a good job for the sheriff’s department, and we took a lot of bad guys off the street.”
Meyer said he never solicited complaints — when Williamson made him the department’s first head of internal affairs in 1997, the sheriff made it clear that he was to let complaints come to him, not go looking for them, Meyer said.
“My job would have been in jeopardy,” Meyer said. “The sheriff had said, ‘You will not solicit.’”
Sheriff Neil Williamson declined to comment on Gillette, saying he’s been advised by counsel not to publicly address personnel matters concerning any specific deputy. Speaking generally, however, the sheriff said his hands are tied by collective bargaining agreements that allow arbitrators to reinstate fired deputies.
“I’m not afraid to fire people,” Williamson said. “It’s extremely difficult to fire any employee because of union contracts. … The last three people I fired, one got their job back and two are trying (for reinstatement).”
Gillette’s record would still be secret but for a 2006 run-in with Dr. Mark Gekas, a Springfield dentist who complained that the deputy unnecessarily drew his weapon during a traffic stop and used profanity. Gekas, who said he was handcuffed to the steering wheel of his truck, was suffering from a kidney-stone attack at the time.
Instead of suing the department for excessive force, Gekas, whose complaint against Gillette wasn’t substantiated by the department, sued under the state Freedom of Information Act, demanding Gillette’s entire internal-affairs file. He prevailed earlier this year.
According to documents made public as a result of Gekas’ suit, Gillette’s disciplinary record between 1996 and 2009 included at least eight cases in which the department determined complaints were legitimate.
Beyond two three-day suspensions and a five-day suspension in the late 1990s, Gillette was never seriously punished, although he was warned a decade ago that continued violations of department policies could result in termination.
In at least four cases, other law enforcement officers complained about Gillette.
“That’s really telling. The whole culture is other officers don’t file complaints against other officers,” Walker said. “The fact that they do means something very serious happened.”
Complaints by other officers include:
*A 1998 complaint from the chief of the Mechanicsburg-Buffalo Police Department, who wrote a letter to Williamson criticizing Gillette for taking over a call in Mechanicsburg.
“I was in the process of explaining the situation to Deputy Gillette when he … said ‘This is our jurisdiction, we will handle it,’” former Mechanicsburg-Buffalo chief Dick M. Donaldson wrote.
“Sheriff, I want a good working relationship with your department, but I will not allow your deputies to commandeer my jurisdiction.”
There is no indication in the files of what, if anything, Williamson did in response to Donaldson’s letter.
Gillette said the Mechanicsburg case started with a domestic dispute, which often requires an arrest to satisfy state law, and that small police departments sometimes don’t make arrests pursuant to domestic-violence statutes.
Donaldson’s letter doesn’t mention a domestic dispute. Rather, the former chief said the incident involved a man who said he was being chased by armed men and that the man who called police had been working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and a sheriff’s deputy.
*In 1999, sheriff’s office brass began an inquiry after Gillette asked a sergeant to have a civilian searched before she rode with him for a shift. The civilian worked for the county dispatch center, files show.
The documents say Gillette told the sergeant he was concerned that the civilian, who had asked to ride with Gillette, might be wired for audio recording. He also told the sergeant that he thought it strange that a civilian was assigned to ride with him, since department administrators in the past had said he was not to have ride-alongs, files show.
“I advised Deputy Gillette that such a search would not be allowed, and that if he was concerned about someone monitoring his conversation, he should not say anything derogatory or incriminating while the ride-along was with him,” the sergeant wrote in a memo to Meyer.
Gillette says he was joking when he asked for the pat-down search. Files don’t indicate what conclusions the department reached or whether any action was taken.
*In 2002, Sheriff’s Lt. Wes Barr alleged that Gillette did not promptly notify superiors when he received a tip about a body stuffed in a refrigerator. Even as Barr complained, Williamson commended Gillette for excellent police work in the case. Gillette ultimately received a verbal reprimand.
Gillette admits he was in the wrong.
“I didn’t notify him,” Gillette says. “I should have.”
Barr declined to comment.
*In 2005, Craig Anderson, a probationary deputy assigned to ride with Gillette, then a field training officer charged with teaching new cops how to do their jobs, resigned and wrote a two-page letter to Williamson about Gillette. In the letter, Anderson, who is now a security officer for Southern Illinois School of Medicine, said Gillette told him to “knock the (expletive) out” of suspects in custody if they didn’t follow orders, then write it up as resisting arrest.
Anderson also said Gillette used sexual, religious and racial slurs. The department counseled Gillette to refrain from profanity, but allowed him to continue as a field training officer.
In the Anderson case, then-Lt. Debra Brown (she is now a captain), who investigated the allegations, said the problem was with Anderson, not Gillette.
“Deputy Gillette sensed a weakness in Anderson and felt it his duty to toughen and wisen Anderson up for the harsh and violent reality of life as a patrol cop,” Brown wrote in a summary of her investigation.
At the time, Gillette had been the target of 33 internal-affairs investigations over the previous nine years, seven of which resulted in discipline.
“I told Anderson I made the decision to assign him to Gillette as Gillette is tactically sound and squared away,” Brown wrote in a summary of a conversation with the probationary deputy. “I also told Anderson that this is a tough job and we need tough, squared away people to do this job.”
Gillette defends what he told Anderson, who declined to comment.
“If the probationary deputy is not able to stomach a point of view when asked, or profanity, then maybe he should not be there when someone punches him or spits in his face,” Gillette wrote in an email to The State Journal-Register.
He expanded on his remarks in a telephone interview.
“I think you can read between the lines there,” Gillette said. “I did use profanity. I didn’t belittle him, but I demeaned him, if you can understand that. I didn’t demean him as a person, I demeaned his skills to get him a little stressed out. I found a weakness and I poked at it.”
Walker, the criminologist, said the number of complaints, the fact that other law enforcement officers complained and the percentage of sustained complaints all paint a picture of a deputy unfit for duty. Typically, Walker said, police departments sustain between 10 and 14 percent of complaints made against officers.
“The sheer number of complaints filed: Someone with 40, that steady flow of complaints, that’s a gigantic red flag,” Walker said. “Something should have been done about him a long time ago.”
That the sheriff’s department allowed Gillette to work as a field training officer is “utterly reprehensible,” Walker said.
“It’s a pretty bad picture, and it goes right to the sheriff,” he said. “The sheriff is really derelict in not acting on him sooner.”
Gillette says the fact that he wasn’t fired shows that he wasn’t an out-of-control cop.
“Do you really believe that if I had done all the stuff that was in those files, I wouldn’t have been terminated?” he said.
Gillette blamed the number of complaints against him on the fact that he worked graveyard shifts and that there was a lot of crime in the late 1990s, which meant he had to deal with a large number of criminals.
Deputies who worked between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., not those whose shifts started at 11 p.m., were the ones whose work days were busiest, Meyer said. He rejects Gillette’s explanation.
“That’s poop,” he said.
By October 2001, the number of complaints against Gillette stood at 28, with six of them sustained. He’d been a deputy for six years. Then the pace slowed. He was the target of 14 more complaints for the last eight years of his career with the county, with two of those -- the complaint filed by Barr and the allegation of profanity by Anderson -- sustained by the department.
A few things changed. Gillette was deployed to Iraq for a year in 2003 and won the Bronze Star, so he was off local streets. Meyer, who Gillette says was out to get him, retired in October 2001. And in September 2001, Lt. Patrick Davlin moved from the bureau of professional standards, which includes the department’s internal affairs division, and became supervisor of the midnight shift that included Gillette.
Davlin, who retired in 2006, won’t say what he thought of Gillette as a police officer, but said he considered Meyer a role model.
“I never saw Steve out after anyone,” Davlin said. “I have said it a number of times: He was the most fair sergeant I ever worked for.”
Davlin said the number of complaints against deputies on the midnight shift dropped dramatically — he says he can recall just two during more than two years that he worked nights -- and he takes credit.
“I was quite proud of the fact it changed from a shift that had weekly complaints on it, and I changed the way things were done,” Davlin said. “Everyone who ever worked for me knew what I expected of them and what the public expected of them. I would constantly tell them: Not here, not now, not ever. They realized I expected a higher level from them.”
To cut down on profanity, Davlin said he instituted small fines whenever deputies cursed. He said he used the pot of money to take the shift out for drinks. Eventually, he said, the flow of money slowed to a trickle.
Complaints can be a tool
Meyer and Walker said departments should use internal affairs complaints to help identify officers who need help.
Walker said the volume of complaints can be a tool to help figure out which officers need coaching, additional training or re-assignment. Meyer said departments can’t always go by complaint volumes — an officer assigned to DUI patrol, for example, is bound to get a fairly high number of complaints -- but he blames himself for not doing more to help Gillette.
“I think I let him down, and the agency let him down, in that they didn’t initiate anger management, for lack of a better term,” Meyer said.
The problem extends to hiring, he said: The department doesn’t adequately screen candidates for psychological problems. At one point, he said, he and Davlin drew up guidelines for conducting psychological reviews of prospective deputies.
“Pat and I had some guys come on the agency that were clearly not fit for duty,” Meyer said.
Williamson said he believes the department provides adequate help to employees with marital problems, psychological issues, alcohol-abuse problems or other issues that affect their work. The lack of psychological screening for new employees is due in part to the expense, Williamson said.
Williamson, who started the department’s internal-affairs division in 1997, has the final say on who gets hired. He said he requires prospective deputies to have a college diploma, and he interviews extensively before making a decision.
“We hire very, very few (deputies), maybe two or three a year,” Williamson said. “Usually, I know that person very well. I know their families. I call them in personally and talk to them for several hours. I’m not saying I’m an expert by any means. I get a pretty good sense, a feeling, for this person, not just their intelligence, but their character. I don’t do it politically.”
Williamson said psychological screens aren’t infallible, and neither is he.
“There’s always going to be people who fall through the cracks, the best psychological exams or not,” Williamson said. “Out of the 60-some I hired as deputies, maybe I made a mistake or two.”
Thousands of miles from Springfield, Gillette said he misses his former colleagues on the force, and he misses helping people.
“I don’t miss the politics and the complaints,” he said. “I’m happy with what I’m doing now. This is, I guess, my normal career path.”
Newspaper sought IA files
On Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, The State Journal-Register requested internal-affairs files from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department, the Springfield Police Department and Illinois State Police.
The newspaper asked for files on the 10 officers with each agency with the most complaints filed against them during the past decade, as well as those of any officers who resigned with investigations pending or were terminated as a result of investigations.
In addition, the newspaper asked the sheriff’s department for files on former deputy John Gillette; in the case of Springfield and state police, the newspaper asked for a report on former city officers Paul Carpenter and James Graham, who were terminated in 2006 after an investigation by state police.
None of the agencies produced the records within seven working days, as required by state law. But the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department, which promised to get the records by Oct. 28, beat its own deadline, notifying the newspaper the records were ready on Oct. 23. Citing state law governing personnel records, the department did not turn over records older than four years.
The department also did not include records on Gillette, which the newspaper obtained from other sources. Chief Deputy Jack Campbell said that was an oversight and the department mistakenly believed that the newspaper already had Gillette’s files.
The newspaper received files from state police in the mail on Monday. The city has yet to produce any of the requested documents, although city attorney Jenifer Johnson has said the city won’t turn over the Graham-Carpenter file, which state police have also refused to disclose. The newspaper more than three weeks ago asked Johnson to put her denial in writing, but she so far has refused to do so.
Internal affairs complaints against Sangamon County sheriff’s deputies
(More than 70 deputies work for the department.)
*2005: 13 complaints, four substantiated
*2006: 11 complaints, three substantiated
*2007: 15 complaints, five substantiated
*2008: 21 complaints, two substantiated
Source: Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department
Four lawsuits filed against deputy
Former Sangamon County sheriff’s deputy John Gillette has been named as a defendant in at least four federal lawsuits since 1998. One was dismissed in 1999 after the plaintiff didn’t proceed with the case. Three were settled out of court.
University of Nebraska criminologist Samuel Walker said multiple lawsuits against an officer can be a sign of trouble. But Gillette says he did nothing wrong. The county, he said, settled the cases because it was cheaper than paying litigation costs.
Peter Wise, attorney for Trevor Wallner, said his client sued in 1998 after Gillette threw him onto a couch when police who showed up at a social gathering believed some attendees might be underage. Wallner suffered a leg injury, said Wise. On Jan. 28, 2000, the county sent a settlement check to Wallner and his agent for $32,824.61.
In 2000, the county paid $3,750 to John Prichard, who claimed that Gillette punched him, put him in a headlock and took him to the ground while another deputy, Terry Castleman, hit him on the head with a flashlight. Prichard said he was chasing three men from his house in 1997 when he happened across the deputies, who were investigating a car break-in. Prichard sued after charges of obstructing and resisting a police officer were dismissed.
The latest settlement came last year, when the county paid $20,000 to Eric Heresy, whom Gillette arrested in 2004 on suspicion of being a deserter from the military. However, Heresy wasn’t wanted. In court pleadings, his attorneys said officers at the Sangamon County Jail told Gillette he wasn’t handling the case properly and that there were no warrants for Heresy’s arrest, but Gillette insisted that Heresy spend a night in jail.
In an interview, Gillette said he had valid reason to arrest Heresy. He said he was told it would have cost $80,000 to contest the case.
“His attorney won the case because it was too costly to fight it,” Gillette said.
Gillette praised as model soldier
Former Sangamon County sheriff’s deputy John Gillette has a long record of complaints as a police officer, but his superiors in the military praise him as a model soldier whose efforts saved lives.
In recommending Gillette for the Bronze Star while he was deployed to Iraq for a year beginning in 2003, Jeff Royer, Gillette’s company commander, wrote that Gillette, a sergeant in the 233rd Military Police Company, a Springfield-based arm of the National Guard, “lives the Army values and instills these values in his soldiers.”
Gillette, Royer wrote, conducted more than 70 tactical raids in Iraq that led to the seizure of more than 300 weapons and the detainment of more than 40 enemy personnel.
“His efforts during combat operations have led to zero casualties and 100-percent equipment readiness throughout this combat deployment,” Royer wrote in the recommendation that resulted in Gillette winning the medal. “Sergeant First Class Gillette’s duty performance is in keeping with the highest standards of selfless service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, Victory Corps and the United States Army.”
Mark DePue, an oral historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum who has written a book about the 233rd, called “Patrolling Baghdad,” writes that Gillette was a “hard-nosed platoon sergeant,” a man who headed toward gunfire instead of away from it.
“He was my idealized platoon sergeant, if you will,” said DePue, whose book was based largely on interviews with members of Gillette’s unit shortly after their return from Iraq in 2004. “He knew how to get things done. When things got tough, he’s the kind of guy you’d want with you.”
Bruce Rushton can be reached at 788-1542.
Complaints against Gillette
Complaints about former Sangamon County sheriff’s deputy John Gillette include:
*Allegations by two women that Gillette inappropriately touched them while on duty.
One woman said she would be willing to take a polygraph test. The other, who accused Gillette of fondling her during a 1997 body search, was told that she had to take a polygraph or the sheriff’s department would drop the matter. Under state law, neither police officers nor victims of sex crimes can be compelled to take lie-detector tests.
There is no indication whether polygraph examinations were administered in either case. The outcome of the 1997 complaint isn’t clear, although investigators said they disproved claims that Gillette entered the residence without authority and searched the home without permission.
The department in 1998 determined a woman was telling the truth when she accused Gillette of grabbing her and pulling her close after trying to arrest her boyfriend, whose warrant turned out to be invalid. While in the deputy’s unwelcome embrace, the woman reported Gillette said, “Oh, you’re so beautiful.”
The woman, who lives in Springfield, outside regular patrol boundaries for county deputies, said Gillette showed up at her home saying he had an arrest warrant for her boyfriend. But the warrant wasn’t good in Sangamon County, which would have been obvious from the display on the deputy’s in-car computer, said Stephen Meyer, a retired sheriff’s sergeant who once headed internal affairs and investigated the complaint.
“John knew from the get-go—the very beginning—as a police officer that the warrant was invalid,” Meyer said.
The woman also complained that Gillette had grabbed her before during previous on-duty visits that were not documented in dispatch records. Besides determining that Gillette had grabbed the woman, the department determined that Gillette used profanity and sexual language on his in-car computer.
After Meyer determined the charges were true, Gillette was placed on unpaid leave until he saw therapists in Chicago who were supposed to prepare a report on him for department administrators, according to files. It’s not clear how long Gillette was on unpaid leave. He ultimately received a three-day suspension.
Lyn Schollett, general counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said investigators cannot require alleged victims of unwanted romantic touching, even through clothes, to take polygraph examinations.
“That’s contrary to Illinois law,” Schollett said. “The statute’s been on the books since 1988.”
Meyer said he wasn’t aware of the ban on giving polygraphs to alleged victims of sexual crimes.
Gillette, who told Meyer during the 1998 investigation that he had considered his accuser a friend, says the allegations by both women were false. He also says the only finding against him in the 1998 case was for inappropriate use of his in-car computer.
That’s not true, according to department records and Meyer, who said the woman in the 1998 case was credible. He added that he did not rely wholly on her story in concluding she was telling the truth.
Besides interviewing neighbors, Meyer said he reviewed dispatch tapes chronicling radio traffic.
“I came to the conclusion the young woman had nothing to lie about, that what she told me was absolutely true,” Meyer said.
* Five allegations of excessive force, one of which was sustained.
The sustained complaint arose from an incident in July 1999, but the department’s files are incomplete, consisting of transcripts of interviews with officers and two juveniles. The transcripts indicate one of the juveniles, who was apparently suspected of breaking into cars, accused a deputy of kicking him in the head.
Meyer said he got involved when a relative of one of the juveniles called the department, saying her grandson had come home with a bloody shirt. She wanted the county to pay for the ruined garment, Meyer said. The juveniles themselves, he says, were reluctant to talk.
Files indicate that other deputies also received suspensions as a result of the investigation.
*A November 1999 complaint by managers at the Deja Vu strip club, who said they found Gillette in the parking lot after 3 a.m., smelling of alcohol. Gillette, who was off duty and dressed in civilian clothes, refused to leave the premises, saying he was conducting an undercover investigation and managers could call Springfield police, which they did. Gillette’s supervisors said the deputy had not been assigned to any drug investigations.
Gillette says he turned his notes over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and they led to the seizure of more than four pounds of cocaine.
“My supervisor didn’t know I was working on it,” Gillette says. “I was a bad egg at the time. They found a way to get me.”
Several supervisors told Meyer that Gillette hadn’t been authorized to work undercover. In addition, the Springfield officer who handled the call contradicted Gillette, who said he asked for a sheriff’s sergeant to be dispatched. The officer said Gillette made no such request. A sergeant who showed up said he happened to be in the area and had not been called.
Meyer said it was a case of a cop freelancing, and that’s not good. For one thing, an officer who doesn’t tell his superiors about undercover work has no backup if criminals turn against him. For another, an officer who doesn’t have clearance to work undercover risks being accused of criminal activity if police show up when drugs are present.
“Every officer wants the big case—he’s going to be the next Starsky and Hutch or Miami Vice,” Meyer said. “Police work is grunt work—sorry.”
Charges of trespass, threats of retaliation, conduct unbecoming and unauthorized investigation were upheld. Gillette received a five-day suspension and was warned that future violations of department policy could result in termination.
*At least seven complaints about Gillette using profanity. One of those complaints was sustained. Two were ruled unfounded after accusers didn’t follow through with formal complaints, even though Gillette admitted profanities. On at least one occasion, investigators found Gillette had used obscene language when communicating with another officer via a computer in his squad car.
Gillette admits using obscenities on the job.
“What can I say?” Gillette said. “There are times you deal with people in a harsh manner, and profanity can be used as a tool.”
Meyer, who started as a patrol deputy in 1975, said he occasionally used obscene language while working the street, but only as a last resort.
Patrick Davlin, a former lieutenant in the sheriff’s department, agreed that profanity can be OK. Sometimes, he said, that’s the only way for a cop to get a point across.
“That was a common complaint, that they (midnight-shift deputies) used profanity,” said Davlin, former president of the police union that represents deputies. “I can remember the sheriff trying to give the guys three days off for saying ‘F--- you.’ Pardon me, but at some point in time, those words secured the situation.”
Files show Gillette received a reprimand in one case and was counseled to watch his language in another.
Sangamon County sheriff’s deputy John Gillette was investigated more than 40 times during his 13 years of patrolling local streets. Here’s a look at the cases, including the date, the allegation and how it was handled.
May 1996: Excessive force , Unfounded
August 1996: Unclear, Unfounded; complainant did not make written statement
October 1996: Profanity, Unfounded
January 1997: Fondled woman while searching her, Unfounded
March 1997: Unclear, Unclear
April, 1997: Asked man if he was a felon while at his workplace, Unfounded
April 1997: Refused to allow DUI suspect to drive to lighted area, Unfounded
September 1997: Profanity, refusal to give name and badge number, Unfounded (Gillette admitted swearing)
October 1997: Failure to file report, Unclear
December 1997: Threats of arrest, harassment, Unfounded
December 1997: Failure to file a battery report, Unfounded
January 1998: Profanity, Complainant canceled
April 1998: Profanity, racing another deputy with prisoner in car, Partly substantiated, letter of reprimand
June 1998: Commandeering a case in Mechanicsburg, No record of discipline
August 1998: Alleged battery and sexual assault; unlawful arrest, Substantiated, three-day suspension
October 1998: Alleged unlawful use of authority while off-duty, Unfounded
July 1999: Excessive force Substantiated, three-day suspension
November 1999: Alleged trespass, threats of retaliation, conduct, Founded, five-day unbecoming, unauthorized investigation and suspension, warned that unauthorized off-duty employment further violations of department policies could result in termination
January 2000: Parked car in civilian’s yard, damaging lawn, Unfounded
January 2000: Profanity Founded, letter of reprimand
May 2000: Inappropriate threat of arrest, Unclear, no signed complaint; state’s attorney said it appeared Gillette overstepped authority
July 2000: Profanity, unprofessional conduct, Unfounded
July 2000: Unlawful arrest, excessive force, illegal search, Unfounded
October 2000: Failure to properly investigate accident, Unable to substantiate
October 2000: Unjust arrest, Unclear
October 2000: Speeding without emergency lights, Unclear
October 2000: Offensive language Substantiated, discipline unclear
March 2001: Harsh, insensitive language, Unfounded
January 2002: Injured arrestee while carrying her to squad car, Unfounded
April 2002: Rudeness, failure to gather evidence, Unfounded—case closed at complainant’s request
August 2002: Failure to notify superiors about possible homicide, Substantiated, verbal reprimand
June 2004: Arrestee complained Gillette dented his truck Case closed at complainant’s request
August 2004: Profanity Case closed at complainant’s request, Gillette admitted swearing
May 2005: Profanity, improper treatment of probationary deputy, Unfounded
May 2006: Displayed gun while off duty after cutting off motorist, Unsubstantiated
June 2006: Excessive force, Unsubstantiated
July 2006: Rudeness, pounded on motorist’s window after off-duty traffic accident, Unsubstantiated
August 2006: Excessive force, Unsubstantiated
January 2007: Broke citizen’s cell phone while off duty, Unfounded
May 2008: Broke window of truck while serving search warrant, Unfounded; complainant did not follow up
August, 2008: Excessive force, Unfounded
April 2009: Invasive pat-down, search, Unsubstantiated
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