Police Chief admits to drinking and driving, then let off - FOX 32 News Chicago

Police Chief found intoxicated, admits to drinking and driving, then let off

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

EXCLUSIVE: It started with a call to police from security guards at a CSX rail yard in Bedford Park on a Monday night in late September.

Guards at the rail yard had spotted a suspicious vehicle in a secured area. Turns out, it was Frank Wolfe, the Chief of Police of neighboring McCook, who had taken a wrong turn.

Bedford Park Police Chief Daniel Godfrey declined to go on camera, but says his officers found Wolfe standing outside his van "clearly intoxicated." Wolfe says the officers asked him whether he'd been drinking and he admitted that he had.

That's where the investigation stopped. No tickets were issued. Not even a police report was filed.

The Bedford Park officers called McCook police and told them to send some officers to pick up their chief and drive him home, which they did.

Wolfe, who is a well-known 35-year veteran of the McCook police department, declined to talk on camera, but admits he had four or five drinks in the previous few hours.

"I made a mistake," Wolfe confesses. "It's an unfortunate incident and it's totally on me."

But Wolfe says he never asked to be left off the hook. "I'm well-known. Would they have done this with a regular citizen? I don't know."

Bedford Park's Chief, Godfrey, says because his officers never saw Wolfe in control of the vehicle, they didn't feel they could pursue a DUI. Godfrey says Wolfe was not let off the hook because of who he is, and that he was given the same courtesy that any senior citizen in his situation would have been given.

Rita Kreslin, Executive Director of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, says while she's not familiar with the specifics of this case, situations like these are troubling.

"I don't feel that anybody, whether you're in law enforcement or a regular civilian, and you're drinking and driving, there's just no excuse to be drinking and driving. And nobody deserves a pass," says Kreslin.

As for Godfrey's claim that they didn't have the evidence to prosecute Wolfe, a source familiar with drunk driving prosecutions says that's not necessarily true. A person found standing outside a vehicle can be charged with a DUI based on evidence like registration and statements from witnesses.

The Mayor of McCook, Jeff Tobolski, said Wolfe did come to him and told him about the incident. Tobolski says he gave the chief a verbal reprimand.

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