CHICAGO — A Cook County grand jury on Thursday indicted former Chicago Police Supt. Richard Brzeczek on 24 counts of theft and official misconduct stemming from trips he took to attend meetings that the state's attorney alleges never took place.
The indictment accuses Brzeczek, 43, of misusing $1,231 from the Police Department travel fund to go to Minneapolis in December, 1982, and to San Diego in August, 1982.
Brzeczek, who when appointed by then-Mayor Jane M. Byrne in 1980 became the youngest superintendent in the city's history, claimed the trips were to attend an American Bar Assn. meeting and a law enforcement seminar. The groups did not have meetings on the dates and places he said they did, according to the indictment.
The investigation began two years ago when the Police Department received an anonymous tip that it should investigate the contingency fund. Brzeczek's trips were the only irregularities to surface after authorities studied thousands of checks issued through the department's travel and contingency funds--covering 6 years, said Lisa Howard, spokesman for the state's attorney.
Brzeczek declined comment Thursday but in the past he has called the investigation a politically motivated smear campaign because it was launched during his campaign for state's attorney against incumbent Richard M. Daley. Brzeczek, a Republican, lost to Daley, a Democrat.