Ex-Markham police chief faces federal charges - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Ex-Markham police chief faces federal charges

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A former south suburban deputy police chief was arrested Thursday and faces federal charges of violating civil rights through acts that included sexual abuse.

Tony D. DeBois, 41, of Matteson, was arrested at his home Thursday morning without incident by FBI special agents, a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office said. He is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon in Chicago.

DeBois was deputy chief of the Markham Police Department when the alleged crime occurred on Sept. 23, 2010, the statement said.

He was charged in a single-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury Wednesday and unsealed Thursday following his arrest. It alleges the incident occurred while DeBois was acting in his official capacity as deputy police chief.

DeBois served as deputy chief between 2008 and approximately 2011, and was also the Markham Police Department's head of internal affairs between 2007 and approximately 2011, when he became inspector general until he was fired in 2012.

He began his law enforcement career with the former Chicago Housing Authority Police Department in the 1990s, and was a police officer in south suburban Harvey from 1999-07, when he joined the Markham department.

DeBois has long been a controversial figure, named in numerous civil lawsuits alleging excessive force. He once served as a member of the so-called "Jump Out Boys" unit of the Harvey police

Most recently his name was mentioned in an unflattering light in the trial of so-called "nuns on the run" bank robber Navahcia Edwards. Edwards' accomplice Lydon Germel Wesley — a distant relation of DeBois through marriage — compared DeBois to a corrupt cop from a Hollywood movie.

DeBois was "like Denzel Washington in ‘Training Day,'" Wesley said.

The cop isn't the only Markham official to be accused of sex crimes in office in recent years. In 2007, code enforcement office Mark Hauser was sentenced to 14 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old intern inside City Hall.

The felony civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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