2 Drivers Falsely Charged with DUI Receive $450,000 from Chicago

The City of Chicago has agreed to settle with the remaining drivers who alleged false DUI charges by former Chicago Police Officer Richard Fiorito. Fiorito was pulled from street duty three years ago after mounting allegations that he had falsified dozens of DUI charges. He had once been honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his arrest record.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office dropped DUI charges against more than 130 drivers arrested by Fiorito. However, in 2010, county prosecutors declined to prosecute the officer. Some of the drivers were unable to pursue damages against Fiorito after previously pleading guilty to lesser traffic offenses in exchange for the dismissal of the DUI charge.

James Dean Jr. was awarded $100,000 after suing Fiorito for false arrest and malicious prosecution. Four months earlier, the city settled a similar case for $100,000. The city also agreed to pay $250,000 in legal fees for the lawyers of both drivers. The matter was resolved the night before Dean’s trial. The city did not admit wrongdoing on Fiorito’s part. Reportedly, in a recent interview Fiorito stood by all of his DUI arrests and said that he did not regret one day of his 13 year tenure. He resigned from the force in December.

Chicago to pay $450,000 to 2 drivers falsely charged with DUIs, www.chicagotribune.com, August 22, 2012

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