Northwest Herald, nwherald.com
BYLINE: SARAH SUTSCHEK -
Link to Article
WOODSTOCK – Eight pending criminal cases may be affected by a former McHenry police officer who allegedly stole about $2,500 in seized drug money, prosecutors said.
Dale A. Hojnacki, 35, of McHenry, was indicted in May on theft and official misconduct charges after a routine audit revealed money was missing.
McHenry police then hired R.A. Dolan and Associates, a police training and management firm, to conduct a physical audit of its evidence and property control system.
A written report was completed June 14 and turned over to the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office on June 28.
According to court documents filed by Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs, who is also chief of the Criminal Division, the audit
contains descriptions of evidence bags and controlled substances,
but does not mention Hojnacki by name.
“The audit report reveals that only eight pending criminal cases are potentially affected by the allegations in the indictment,” Combs said in a court motion.
Combs wants a judge to allow him to release a copy of the audit report to the Northwest Herald, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request.
A gag order entered by Judge Joseph Condon prevents Combs from discussing the case with the media.
The gag order was requested by Hojnacki’s attorney in response to a letter sent in May to the McHenry County Bar Association and obtained by the Northwest Herald. In the letter, Combs said Hojnacki may have tampered with evidence.
The McHenry Police Department “has reason to believe that Officer Hojnacki has been opening sealed evidence bags and removing narcotics,” Combs wrote.
Combs also indicated in the letter that if true, Hojnacki’s actions could compromise cases of anyone arrested by McHenry police.
Hojnacki resigned after being charged.
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