Mayor Daley Names New Top Cop

Thu. November 29, 2007 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Mayor determined to shake up the scandal-scarred department

Chicago, IL - Mayor Richard M. Daley announced the selection of J.P. "Jody" Weis, a special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia field office, as Chicago's top cop during a morning press conference.

The 49-year-old Weis will replace Police Superintendent Phil Cline who resigned in April and left in August amid controversy surrounding allegations of misconduct by Chicago officers.

One of the beatings caught on videotape allegedly showed Officer Anthony Abbate, 38, a 12-year veteran, punching and kicking bartender Karolina Obrycka, 24, at a Northwest Side tavern while off duty on Feb.19.

Less than a week later, four businessmen alleged that in December, they were beaten by six off-duty officers at a Near West Side bar.

In June, Alexander Ruppert, 37, filed a federal lawsuit seeking over $50,000 in damages alleging two Chicago police officers beat him because of his sexual orientation. According to the suit Ruppert was beaten without provocation by Officers Vincent Torres and Kent Pemberton outside an Uptown bar.

Three women filed a federal lawsuit in September alleging William Szura, a Chicago police officer, ran them off the road as they were driving home from Chicago's gay pride parade in late June. According to the suit, Kelly Fuery, Debra Sciortino and Nicole Tomaskovic say the off-duty officer called them degrading names, spit at them, shoved one woman and put another in a chokehold.

"We're going to do all we can to lower crime in Chicago," the mayor said during the press conference this morning. "But the people must have confidence that the police are doing their job."

Daley said officers need to know that "allegations of misconduct will be investigated fairly and responsibly."

Weis' nomination still has to be approved by the city council.