Cop accused of harassing gay motorists placed on leave

Wed. October 7, 2009 12:00 AM by Brett Anthony

Chicago, IL - A Chicago police officer facing 21 federal civil rights lawsuits for allegedly targeting gay and lesbian motorists for false DUIs has now been placed on administrative leave.

According to ABC7, Officer Richard Fiorito will be on desk duty pending an Internal Affairs investigation.

Fiorito who worked in the Town Hall District is accused of harassing drivers in Boystown, calling them "faggot" and falsely arresting them, in part so he court rack up overtime pay for attending court appearances.

According to a release from attorney Jon Erickson, Fiorito is among the state's highest writers of DUI tickets, arresting more than 300 people for DUI last year.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored Fiorito for making 313 DUI arrests between Jan. 1, 2007, and June 6, 2008.

Fiorito's cases are "routinely" thrown out in court according to Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network.

GLN also reports that on two separate occasions Fiorito has given verbal field sobriety tests to deaf women, which is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The 11th annual Matthew Shepard March for LGBT Freedom parade on Oct. 17 in Boystown plans to highlight Fiorito and the lawsuits filed against him. Thayer has called for the Cook County state's attorney's office to press charges against Fiorito.

This afternoon ABC7 reports that the Cook County state's attorney is now investigating Fiorito.

Records show Fiorito has been a member of the police department since 1999.