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What is Official Misconduct?

May 18th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutes, Often times politicians and government employees frustrate the taxpayer. Most of the time this is just a matter of political disagreement, and while it can lead to heated disagreements, the criminal justice system does not get involved. However, sometimes things go a bit further and there are actual accusations of criminal wrongdoing. In many situations government employees and public officials have protections from being prosecuted for doing their jobs, but there are lines that they can be accused of crossing. One crime of which they may be accused is known as official misconduct.

What is Official Misconduct?

Official misconduct is divided into two types. One type is official misconduct by a public officer or employee or special government agent, while the other is official misconduct by an employee of a law enforcement agency. The first type of official misconduct occurs when any of the covered individuals does any of the following when acting in his or her official capacity or capacity as a special government agent:

  • Fails to perform his or her mandatory duties;
  • Conducts an act that he or she knows he or she is legally prohibited from performing;
  • Performs an act in excess of his or her lawful authority intending on obtaining a personal benefit for him or herself or another; or
  • Solicits or accepts a fee or reward which he or she knows is not authorized by law for performing an act.

Committing any of these acts can result in the official or employee losing his or her job and being charged with a Class 3 felony. Official misconduct by a law enforcement agency employee happens when he or she uses information obtained through his or her employment with the intention of interfering with the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of a crime. The official misconduct statute is not the only one that applies to police officers. They are also governed by a gang-activity statute.

Police Prohibited from Gang Activity

It may seem obvious that police are not allowed to be gang members, but there is actually a statute that deals specifically with gang activity by police officers. It is against the law for a police officer or a corrections officer (prison guard) to knowingly commit an act that furthers gang-related activity unless the officer is doing it to further an undercover law enforcement investigation. Violating this law is a Class 3 felony, meaning it can carry prison time.

Call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are a public official who has been charged with a crime related to your public duties, you will need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley now at (847)394-3200. We will schedule an appointment at your convenience to discuss your case and figure out how we can help.

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