Crusader Staff Report
Four Chicago police officers who were fired in July after the Chicago Police Board ruled the lied to cover up the Laquan McDonald murder have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit, seeking to get their jobs back.
The officers, Janet Mondragon, Daphne Sebastian, Ricardo Viramontes and Sgt. Stephen Franko, each filed separate lawsuits last month, naming The Police Board, the Chicago Police Department and Superintendent Eddie Johnson as defendants.
The story was first reported by the Chicago Sun Times, which quoted a high-ranking member of the Fraternal Order of Police as saying the fired officers were “railroaded” and didn’t do anything wrong.
At its monthly meeting in July, the Chicago Police Board voted 9-0 to fire the four officers. They were accused of either providing or knowingly approving false statements to justify the shooting of McDonald in 2014. McDonald’s killer, former Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke is behind bars after he was convicted of second degree murder in 2018.
In 2016, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson filed charges against the four officers. They were stripped of their police powers and assigned to desk duty while the Police Board investigated the violations and conducted several hearings to whether to fire the officers.
None of the four officers were charged with criminal wrongdoing. In January, Chicago police officers Joseph Walsh, David Marsh and Thomas Gaffney were acquitted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges after they were accused of trying to protect Van Dyke after he shot McDonald 16 times in 2014.