Society

Chicago Officer On Leave After Allegedly Forging $20,000 Check

| by Khier Casino

A Chicago police sergeant has been placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation of a $20,000 check that was allegedly gotten from an elderly man with dementia.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Elmwood Park Police Sgt. John Wasilenko was named in a citation filed Dec. 20 by Cook County Public Guardian Robert F. Harris to look at his financial assets.

The citation alleges that Wasilenko developed a relationship with an 85-year-old man after investigating a reported theft at his home in October 2012. First National Bank of Brookfield reported a $20,000 check had been written, payable to the Wasilenko in December 2012. The sergeant said the resident wanted him to have the money as a gift, according to the citation.

Brookfield Police Department contacted Elmwood Park Police Chief Frank Fagiano’s department. The case was turned over to Cook County Sheriff’s Police.

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Fagiano issued a statement Friday saying that the police department does not know of any other alleged "exploitative activity" related to Wasilenko. Fagiano said Wasilenko has been "closely watched" since the department found out about the investigation.

"Now that the Citation to Discover Assets has been made public, we believe it is in the best interest of the Village to relieve Wasilenko of further duty while the investigation is finalized," Fagiano said.

Wasilenko took advantage of his position as a police officer, Harris said.

"I believe that an officer has to be held to a standard, certainly, and in a case like this, because he was investigating an alleged crime, he has to be held to a higher standard," Harris said. "You just don't take a $20,000 check from somebody, from an older man, that you make out to yourself."

According to FOX News Wasilenko became part of the Elmwood Park Police Department in 2004 and was appointed sergeant in 2008. He will receive his pay while on administrative leave.