Judge cuts bail for 3 Schaumburg cops facing drug charges - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Judge cuts bail for 3 Schaumburg cops facing drug charges

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Three former Schaumburg cops charged with selling cocaine and marijuana they stole from dealers allegedly did much of that work while on duty at their $120,000-a-year jobs.

The trio frequently turned in low-grade marijuana they seized during arrests but kept the highest-quality dope to resell through a dealer they previously had busted, DuPage County prosecutors alleged Thursday.

Ex-cop Matthew Hudak even urged the dealer to move from DuPage County to Schaumburg to "make it easier" to run the drug business, Assistant State's Attorney Audrey Anderson said, arguing against lowering the $750,000 cash bail previously set for the three men.

"They held a position of trust and they betrayed that trust," Anderson said.

DuPage County Judge Blanche Fawell, however, heeded arguments from defense attorneys and slashed bail for Hudak and the two other ex-cops facing drug conspiracy, theft and official misconduct charges.

She set a cash bail of $35,000 for Hudak, $30,000 for Terrance O'Brien and $25,000 for John Cichy.

Fawell ordered all three to wear electronic monitoring bracelets if they make bail — something defense attorneys said could happen within days.

Cichy, 30, sobbed in court as the judge agreed to reduce his bail. O'Brien, 46, and Hudak, 29, showed little emotion during their separate, televised hearings.

The ruling came as Schaumburg officials disclosed an internal investigation launched after the three men were arrested on Jan. 16 has turned up a "potential discrepancy" in the amount of a narcotic collected by police after a 2012 fatal overdose.

Sources said the drug is heroin, though Schaumburg officials wouldn't comment.

Illinois State Police have been called in to review whether any "wrongdoing occurred" or if there simply was a clerical error, Schaumburg officials said in a statement.

Defense attorneys said Fawell made the right call by lowering "excessive" bails, particularly since they contended the ex-cops can't flee if released because authorities have frozen their bank accounts and seized their cars, passports and police gear.

"There is no place he could go. He has no assets," O'Brien's attorney Robert Irsuto said.

Anderson had argued the former cops — who resigned after their arrests — may flee because, if convicted, each faces a minimum, 24-year prison term.

"They have no incentive to stay," Anderson said.

She disclosed other disturbing details of the alleged six-month drug-selling scheme, including recounting how Hudak earlier this month drove with his two young children — ages 4 and 1 ½ ­— to a meeting with the dealer.

The dealer wore a wire so police could hear Hudak talking to his children during the meeting in his car.

Hudak's attorney disputed that claim.

"Mr. Hudak is not the type of person, I believe, that would bring his two kids to a drug deal,'' his attorney, Thomas Glasgow, said after the hearing.

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