Village of Robbins and Mayor Darren Bryant Sued for Illegal Whistleblower Firing

Village of Robbins and Mayor Darren Bryant Sued for Illegal Whistleblower Firing
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Village of Robbins and Mayor Darren Bryant Sued for Illegal Whistleblower Firing (Robbins, IL) — Former Chief of Police for the Village of Robbins, David Sheppard, has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Darren E. Bryant and the Village of Robbins in Federal Court for illegally firing him. The lawsuit, filed on Friday, calls into question Mayor Bryant’s integrity, pointing out several instances when his actions were tyrannical and unethical at minimum, and blatantly illegal and felonious at their worst.

Sheppard’s lawsuit states that his issues with Mayor Bryant began when the beloved and well-performing Deputy Chief, Byron Redmond, was illegally fired from his position despite protests from Sheppard. According to Robbins’ ordinance, only Sheppard is vested with the power to remove a deputy chief. Bryant also terminated Redmond as a police officer without written charges being brought before the Board of Police and Fire Commission recommending termination.

Furthermore, Bryant also repeatedly requested that Sheppard break chain-of-custody rules by moving a vehicle involved in the tragic February car accident that took the life of beloved grandfather Donald Carter Sr. Even after being told that moving the vehicle could result in evidentiary chain-of-custody issues, as well as potentially corrupt the evidence, Bryant continued to request the vehicle’s removal. Bryant responded to Sheppard’s denials by calling him an “idiot” and referring to himself in third person, saying, “Stop talking, Bryant is talking.”

Bryant requested that an individual identified as Frank Sanders be hired by the department. At 65 years of age, Sanders exceeded the age limit for police officers. Also, a number of red flags and other concerns became glaringly apparent throughout the application process: Sanders’ urine sample was repeatedly rejected by the third-party testing facility, his neighbors complained that he was a heavy marijuana user, he failed to disclose his termination from the Village of Harvey, and alleged bribery. Despite Sheppard’s documented instances of Sanders’ misconduct, Sanders was hired as a police lieutenant and remains a police officer within the Village of Robbins.

Building upon Byrant’s record of unethical behavior, Sheppard also outlined several other instances of inappropriate and illegal behavior coming from the mayor. In one instance, Sheppard states that the mayor purposely deceived officers responding to an active call of a shooting by sending them to a different location. In this situation, the suspects were able to successfully evade capture. Bryant also intentionally misclassified officers employed by the village to avoid paying overtime wages, permitted illegal activities such as stripping and drug use to continue at a village bar, and fought to allow another business to set off a large number of fireworks without obtaining the proper permit.

John Heiderschedit, Criminal Defense Attorney; Subscription Lawyer; Chicago Lawyer

Sheppard filed Whistleblower complaints with various agencies, reporting Bryant’s outlandish, unethical, and illegal behavior. These agencies include the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, the US Department of Justice, the United States Attorney General, the Office of the Independent Inspector General, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and the Department of Labor (DOL). Sheppard sent a copy of his complaints to village administrators and one day later, the Village of Robbins presented Sheppard with an ultimatum to sign a pre-drafted resignation agreement and covenant not to sue or be removed as the police chief. Sheppard refused to sign the agreement.

Since being hired as Robbins’ Chief of Police in October of 2021, Sheppard has helped Robbins see a 90% decrease in homicides and a decrease in violent crime in over 20 categories. He helped increase the number of officers from a low of 11 officers to 46 officers. Sheppard also helped negotiate an increase in police officer salaries after a mass walk-off days before Sheppard was sworn in. Immediately upon taking his position as Chief of Police, David Sheppard even spent over $6,000 of his personal funds to help equip officers with necessary safety equipment that the Village of Robbins was unable to provide.


Village of Robbins and Mayor Darren Bryant Sued for Illegal Whistleblower Firing


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