Oak Brook Police Chief Thomas Sheahan wants to fire his employee, officer Stephen Peterson, for Peterson's testimony in the murder case against his father.
Drew Peterson, a former police sergeant in Bolingbrook, is charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. In a recent hearing, Stephen Peterson testified that he hid some of Drew's favorite weapons, including an assault rifle, at his home during the investigation.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Chief Sheahan wants the younger Peterson suspended without pay until his disciplinary hearing in the matter. He has been on paid leave since shortly after his testimony.
According to his statements in court, Stephen Peterson's father approached him shortly after Drew's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, was reported missing in October 2007. Drew, the prime suspect in her disappearance, asked his son to keep two or three weapons in his home, saying that the guns "were his favorites and he didn't want anything to happen to them."
One of the weapons was an AR-15 assault rifle. The gun is illegal in Illinois.
But two weeks ago, a judge dismissed a felony weapons charge against Drew Peterson for possession of the rifle. Prosecutors failed to prove that the weapon wasn't protected by a federal law that shields police officers from some gun-ownership restrictions. This is the second time the charge has been dismissed; the state is considering whether or not to appeal the decision.
No weapons charge has been filed against Stephen Peterson.
Peterson had not exactly been a model of police conduct before his recent testimony got him in hot water. He was previously suspended for running improper background checks on village employees and making rude comments to citizens. Most recently, he was chastised for driving his Oak Brook squad car to the courthouse to testify for his father, in police uniform.
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