Closing arguments made in police discipline case
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:35PM
NORRIDGE — After more than two hours of closing arguments, the Norridge Board of Fire and Police Commissioners entered into executive session Tuesday to consider testimony and evidence in a disciplinary hearing for Officers Scott Lorence and Paul Gomez.
John Broihier, serving as commission attorney, said once the board is ready to make a determination, he would let attorneys for the officers know the date the hearing will resume.
Police Chief James Jobe filed complaints against the two officers for conduct bringing discredit to themselves and the police department following an alleged incident Jan. 15 at Possum’s Pub, 2324 N. Mannheim Road in unincorporated Leyden Township. Cook County Sheriff’s police had responded to the establishment.
County officers did not arrest either of the two off-duty officers.
Nicholas Lagatutta, representing Lorence, questioned whether the officer would have appeared before the board if a gun were not involved.
He pointed to testimony from witnesses that Lorence’s behavior was not disorderly and not disrespectful to his superior, and that he was not intoxicated.
Lagatutta also questioned the charge Lorence resisted arrest.
“If he did all those things the county cops said he did, he would have been arrested and people would have been injured,” Lagatutta said. “He does not deserve punishment because he did nothing wrong.”
Joseph Mazzone, representing Gomez, questioned whether Jobe provided enough evidence to support the charges.
He referred to inconsistencies between videos of the incident and witness testimony, noting Gomez was not being antagonistic nor did he wave his gun in the air.
“There was not slamming, no threatening,” Mazzone said.
An altercation between two other patrons resulted in the county police becoming involved, he said.
Attorney Mark Chester, representing Jobe, also referenced the video.
Allegations that the county sheriff’s police entered the bar “looking for a fight” by putting on gloves is not supported by the video, he said.
He also said the video showed county officers acted appropriately in trying to take control of the situation by calming down and separating patrons to maintain order.
He also noted multiple witnesses testified both Norridge officers were intoxicated.
“When you go through the charges, for each and every single one there’s evidence,” he told the board.~.