On Monday, March 4, 2024, Injustice Watch reported that Chicago Police Lieutenant John Poulos faces questions regarding his troubled history and judgment as he runs for judge in Cook County.

According to an investigation by Injustice Watch, Poulos has a decades-long record of controversies and allegations of misconduct that began even before he joined the police force. The investigation found that Poulos omitted prior arrests from his police academy application and owned a bar serving liquor while on an extended medical leave from the police department, a violation of department policies.

While on the force, Poulos twice shot and killed individuals, in 2013 and 2016. Both shootings were ruled justified by police and prosecutorial reviews, though the family of the 2016 shooting victim was later awarded $1 million in damages by a federal jury. Poulos has also faced allegations of dishonesty during two police investigations into his conduct and application to the force. He narrowly avoided being fired in 2017 when the police review board dismissed the case due to the department’s failure to bring timely disciplinary charges.

The report also raises questions about Poulos’ judgment in his current role certifying immigration applications. An investigation last year found that Poulos and a colleague had improperly denied visas to undocumented victims of serious crimes who met the requirements. This led to a probe by the Illinois Attorney General’s office that remains ongoing.

Additionally, the Illinois Secretary of State opened an investigation into Poulos after he notarized legal documents while having a personal financial interest in properties involved, a potential violation of notary regulations.

If elected, Poulos would be the only sitting Chicago police officer to also serve as a judge. However, the Injustice Watch investigation uncovered a troubled history that raises serious credibility issues, according to legal experts. Poulos faces a competitive Democratic primary against three attorney candidates for the 20th Subcircuit judgeship covering Chicago’s northern lakefront. The outcome remains uncertain as any candidate only needs a plurality to win.



Source: Injustice Watch