Former Des Plaines Police Commander Charged With Making False Statements About DUI Arersts In Federal Funding Reports
CHICAGO — A former Des Plaines Police Department commander was charged today with making false statements in reports that concealed the suburban department’s failure to meet the requirements of a federally-funded impaired-driving enforcement campaign between 2009 and 2012. The defendant, TIMOTHY VEIT, allegedly inflated by 122 the number of arrests for driving under the influence and provided false information regarding blood-alcohol content levels for the fictitious arrests. As a result, the charges allege that Des Plaines fraudulently obtained $132,893 in federal reimbursement for overtime compensation.
Veit, 55, of Mt. Prospect, was with the Des Plains Police Department for 31 years and was commander of the support services division until he retired last year. He was charged with one count of making false statements in a felony information that was filed today. No date has been set yet for his arraignment in U.S. District Court.
The charges were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Michelle McVicker, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.
According to the charges, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct highway safety programs, including the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Locally, the grants were administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation. The STEP grants required intensive enforcement of specific traffic laws, coupled with other measures, at specific times of the year, particularly on major holidays when alcohol-involved and unbuckled fatalities were highest.
Veit served as project director for the Des Plaines Police Department’s participation in STEP enforcement campaigns and was responsible for certifying the department’s compliance with its terms and conditions, including the performance objective that grant recipients average at least one DUI arrest for every 10 hours of overtime worked by officers on impaired-driving enforcement.
STEP grant participants paid the program costs from local funds and then, after each enforcement campaign, submitted claims for reimbursement that covered overtime pay for officers, mileage, and equipment. The reimbursement forms required such information as the identity of the project director, the total officer hours worked during each campaign, and the number of specific enforcement actions, such as DUI arrests, along with the blood-alcohol content level for each DUI arrest. Between 2009 and 2012, the Illinois Transportation Department authorized a total of $170,366 in STEP funds for Des Plaines’ impaired-driving enforcement efforts.
After Veit collected and reviewed accurate information regarding the number of citations, including DUI arrests, issued by Des Plaines officers during each enforcement campaign, the 3 charges allege that he then intentionally inflated the number of DUI arrests and provided false information about blood-alcohol content levels in the reimbursement forms. Overall, between 2009 and 2012, Veit reported a total of 152 DUI arrests during STEP campaigns, when he knew that only 30 had actually occurred. The numbers allegedly reported and actually occurring in each year were: 2009 – 27 and 13; 2010 – 47 and 8; 2011 – 62 and 8; and 2012 – 16 and 1.
As a result of the false information that Veit allegedly provided, he caused a loss of $132,893 in federal funds that were reimbursed to the City of Des Plaines for impaired-driving enforcement campaigns.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Church.
Making false statements carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that the charges are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.