Chicago Police Sergeants Union Chieftain Charged in Massive Ripoff

To his colleagues, Sgt. John Pallohusky‘s lifestyle might have seemed way above his pay grade. Now the Chicago police detective has to explain to authorities that his years of high living weren’t due to stealing colleague dues. On early Friday morning, November 20, Pallohusky was arrested at his Northwest Side Chicago home on charges of theft and money-laundering. He’s accused of stealing at least $600,000 and more likely as much as $1 million from the union of which he was president, the Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association (CPSA). He was released on $350,000 bail. “This case makes this a very difficult day for all of us in law enforcement,” remarked Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. As well it should.

Pallohusky, now 53 and a veteran of 21 years on the Chicago police force, for several years allegedly wrote checks from an association account and diverted them into personal accounts. Additionally, he made unauthorized purchases on CPSA credit cards. He lived well, too, buying a second home in the city’s Northwest Side Sauganash neighborhood, taking trips to Las Vegas, and paying for high-end steak dinners. His ruse unraveled this August when Chase Bank noticed large deposits to an account controlled by Pallohusky from a union credit card account. The bank notified Chicago police, whose Internal Affairs Division conducted an investigation. The IAD determined that they had their man.

Chicago Police officials are working with the police association to get its money back. “We will do everything possible to recover these funds,” said Police Superintendent Jody Weis. Toward that end, prosecutors have moved to seize Sgt. Pallohusky’s two homes. Defense attorney Robert Kuzas thinks such action is premature. “I don’t believe he (Pallohusky) misappropriated one penny of the union’s money,” he said. But with the take upwards of $1 million, he’ll have a tough time explaining that to a court.  With Pallohusky’s departure, union operations for the time being are in the hands of its board of directors.