CHICAGO (STMW) - The former administrator of Independent Police Review Authority testified Thursday that he had asked his investigators to make sure Chicago Police Cmdr. Glenn Evans’ gun was swabbed “inside and out” and to ensure that whoever ended up handling the high-ranking officer’s brutality case would check whether he was right- or left-handed.
But Scott Ando told Evans’ lawyer, Laura Morask, that he did not make the decision or sign off on referring the alleged brutality case to the state’s attorney’s office in 2014, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Evans has been charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery.
“I don’t sit and look at every referral that goes to the state’s attorney’s office,” said Ando, who resigned earlier this week in the wake of the controversy surrounding the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Ando said he was involved in the Evans’ case in the beginning because of the stunning allegations against the high-ranking officer. A low-level drug dealer Rickey Williams said Evans jammed his gun in mouth and put a Taser to his groin, following a foot chase on the South Side.
But with 2,000 cases a year, Ando said he did not get involved in the “weeds” of every investigation.
At the time Evans, 53, had the encounter with Williams on Jan. 30, 2013, Ando was the first deputy chief at IPRA.
He was named administrator in January 2014.
Ando said he had asked Cmdr. Robert Klimas with the Police’s Internal Affairs Bureau to have Evans come to the police headquarters on Feb. 1, 2013.
Ando asked police officials to make sure the gun was swabbed thoroughly and to check if Evans had a Taser, Ando said.
Klimas told Ando that Evans handed over his weapon without protest and that no union representative was in the room at the time.
Ando said he didn’t learn until recently that only the exterior of the gun had been swabbed. That didn’t hurt the investigation, but Ando said he had asked for the inside of the weapon to be swabbed for DNA evidence as well.
Previous court testimony said that Williams’ DNA was found on Evans’ gun.
Ando testified that said since Williams initially said Evans was holding the Taser in his right hand and the gun in his left hand, he told at least three investigators to make sure whoever ended up with the case to check if Evans was left-handed.
Evans is right-handed.
Ando was also asked about Martrice Campbell, an investigator he fired last summer because he thought she was being “dishonest” and may have perjured herself in another case.
Evans’ lawyer has said that Campbell, who used to be a civilian employee in the Chicago Police Department, had been disciplined by Evans when they both worked in the 2nd Police District.
Ando did confirm that now ousted Police Supt. Garry McCarthy once told him that there was an IPRA investigator who had been disciplined by Glenn Evans.
Campbell ended up being assigned to do some work on the Evans’ case.
Campbell denied during testimony that she knew Evans and said she interviewed an employee about whether Evans checked out a Taser in the Grand Crossing District. She also accompanied lead investigator Vincent Jones to look at photo arrays with Williams in 2014.
Campbell said in her report the Grand Crossing District employee said Evans didn’t check out a Taser that afternoon but told her, “He is the commander. If he wants to take a Taser, he can do that.”
But Officer Sheila Jackson testified that if Evans was ever to take a Taser from the radio room if she was in charge, she would make him sign out for it.
Earlier this afternoon, Vincent Jones, the lead investigator in Evans’ IPRA, case said Williams did not identify Evans in the photo array that was shown to him last year.
But Jones also noted that the picture used of Evans was from 2004. In the older photo, Evans had hair. He was bald in 2013 and still sports a shaved head.
Both sides are giving their closing arguments Thursday afternoon.