A former Chicago police officer faces felony charges for allegedly avoiding paying for dozens of tickets by repeatedly claiming his car was stolen.
Jeffrey Kriv backed up his false claims with forged documents, an investigation by the city’s inspector general’s office found. In all, Kriv avoided paying a $3,665 fine to the city, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Kriv was hired as a police officer in 1996 and retired on Jan. 20 – 10 days after he was relieved of his police duties over the allegations, prosecutors said on Tuesday
Kriv, 56, was charged with the offenses of perjury and forgery and was ordered to be released on his own admission during a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Tuesday, according to records.
The case arose from a tip last year to the inspector general’s office about a fake ticket Kriv used to exit another ticket, according to Cook County prosecutors.
Kriv used the counterfeit ticket to claim he was fined twice for the same violation in 15 minutes, prosecutors said. The fake ticket was allegedly signed by an agent “D. Stuart” and used Kriv’s police badge number.
Since 2009, Kriv has gone to court and, under oath, “disputed numerous parking and moving violations of his personal vehicles by providing fraudulent documents as evidence and/or making false statements in person to the City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings.” prosecutors said. .
Beginning in 2013, Kriv allegedly began alleging that his girlfriend had stolen his car and was driving at the time of the violation. The ploy allowed him to avoid paying for 44 automated ticketing violations and, in each case, Kriv provided the court with fraudulent police reports in support of his claim, prosecutors said.
The court kept a copy of the police reports and, in four cases, “those police reports appear, other than their dates, to be nearly identical to each other,” prosecutors said.
“The truthfulness and credibility of police officers are critical to the fair administration of justice and to the effectiveness of the CPD as a law enforcement agency,” Inspector General Deborah Witzburg said in a statement announcing the charges. “We are grateful to CPD and the state attorney’s office for their cooperation in this investigation.”
The inspector general’s office said each of the charges against Kriv is punishable by up to five years in prison, but is also eligible for probation.
“We look forward to seeing the state’s evidence and fighting this case in court,” defense attorney Tim Grace said when reached by phone Tuesday.