Chicago Police Officer Allyson Bogdalek’s Perjury Gets A Pass
June 6, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Do perjury prosecutions factor in which side gets the benefit of the lie? While Orleans Parish goes after witnesses who come clean, Chicago cops get a perjury pass. Faced with separation charges and a recommendation to be fired, Chicago Police officer Allyson Bogdalek instead resigned, ending a more than three-year inquiry that should have resulted in criminal charges.
In 2010, Bogdalek investigated an armed robbery and attempted murder where a store owner was shot. During the investigation, she presented a photospread with suspect Hankerson’s photo to the victim. When the victim failed to make an identification, Bogdalek did what was necessary to get the perp and make the case: Bogdalek buried the photospread and then lied under oath about its existence.
While under oath on the stand, she told the courtroom she hadn’t shown the liquor store owner – who was shot in the leg during the 2010 robbery – a photo spread with Hankerson’s picture prior to his arrest.
The problem was she had. The problem was the victim could not identify her suspect. The problem was she then lied about it. The bigger problem: her lie was caught on tape.
In 2012, after a series of court hearings but before Hankerson’s trial, Bogdalek came clean about what happened after Hankerson’s defense attorney got a hold of Bogdalek’s squad-car video from the day Hankerson was arrested.
The video captured a cellphone conversation between her and a supervisor in which she mentioned showing lineup photos to the liquor store owner shortly after the stickup.
In her effort to atone and come clean, Bogdalek revealed her untruthfulness perjury and hiding evidence were part of a larger systemic issue:
After the [hearing], Bogdalek admitted she lied and indeed showed the photo-lineup to the victim. She confessed that police detectives, multiple superiors and Dominick Catinilla, her partner, encouraged her to lie.
Bogdalek told prosecutors that she wanted to inventory the photo-array but officer Catinella wanted her to forget about it because it “hurt the case” against Hankerson.
Could this be the difference? Could the lies reach further than imagined? Would Cook County have to prosecute more officers and supervisors? Was perjury more common than imagined? Would prosecutions of the officers and supervisors involved in this case jeopardize more convictions and arrests? Surely this is not the factor upon which the decision not to prosecute was made?
Sally Daly, a spokesperson for the State Attorney’s office, said:
The ultimate analysis in this case led to the determination that the State would not have been able to meet the legal standard that is required, which is proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
We face a reality here in Cook County, and around the country, that it is extremely difficult to convince judges or juries to convict police officers of misconduct in the line of duty.
Oh! That’s the difference: it’s too hard to prosecute cops. Prosecutors know cops lie and commit misconduct, but it’s too hard to convince judges and juries. So why bother? Why stop the abuses and risk convictions in other cases? Why risk exposing a systemic problem?
After reviewing this case, University of Chicago Law School professor and civil rights attorney, Craig Futterman hit the nail on the head and told Salon:
If she’s not going to prosecute perjury in this case, it’s difficult to imagine any case in which she would. It sends a strong message to police officers not only that this is OK, but to keep on doing it. This is how we win our cases. She’s not going to bite the hand that feeds her convictions.
Police perjury is so common here in Chicago that we call it ‘testilying.’ The state’s attorney has relied on those very lies to win convictions.
So, we need a few white lies. We need a little perjury. After all, that’s how we get convictions. Never mind the message that it sends. Never mind that we prosecute witnesses for perjury. These are cops. This is different.
While Hankerson’s case was quickly dropped by then Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office, it would take years before any real consequences would befall Bogdalek.
The Internal Affairs Division had been investigating the officers for more than three years, and Alvarez ignored a recommendation from an underling to hit Bogdalek and Catinella with perjury-related charges.
It’s really no surprise that an elected prosecutor would decline to prosecute a police officer. Officers and their unions provide tremendous political support for prosecutors who are “tough on crime,” so long as they aren’t too tough on the boys in blue. By her own admission, Bogdalek was “untruthful” – can we even say the “L” word? Bogdalek was more than untruthful; she lied. She lied under oath. She colluded with Catinella to bury the negative photospread. She falsified evidence. She hid Brady material. Yet, her only consequence is that she must now look for a new job. No prosecution. No suspension without pay. No official termination. Just a resignation and move on to a new job.
Keep in mind, her untruthful testimony was in 2011. By 2012, a video revealed the lie and Bogdalek came clean. Yet, she has remained on-duty at a desk and has earned $84,450 while being investigated by Internal Affairs. Even then, after years of investigation, Internal Affairs simply found Bogdalek and Catinella simply made a false report and should be fired. With a decision finally made, Bogdalek did the honorable thing and resigned in lieu of being fired. With no prosecution and no termination of employment, now she’s free to move on to new employment, a new department who will also look the other way for the good of the conviction.