2 Ill. investigators foiled by escapee may face charges

By David Heinzmann
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Cook County State's Atty. Anita Alvarez has notified two of her investigators that they may face administrative charges for discrediting her office after a convicted felon escaped from their custody this month and eluded police during a two-day crime spree.

Alvarez said Nick Argentine and Joe Fallon failed to uphold the integrity of the office and conduct themselves professionally, the written notification said.

Convicted bank robber Robert Maday wriggled free, disarmed the two investigators and stole the car they were using to drive him to court, authorities said. Maday later carjacked two women and robbed a Bloomingdale bank before he was captured more than a day later, authorities said.

Letters notifying the suspended investigators of the accusations informs them that "the following allegations of misconduct have been attributed to you." But state's attorney's spokeswoman Sally Daly acknowledged that critical factors in the investigation have not yet been determined.

For instance, the sedan they used to transport Maday from the Kankakee County Jail to the Rolling Meadows courthouse was an executive car that Fallon used when he was former State's Attorney Richard Devine's driver. It has bucket seats in front and isn't suitable for transporting prisoners, Daly said.

But the office has only one car with a cage wall separating the front and back seats, and it's unclear whether that vehicle was available, she said.

Argentine's lawyer, Terry Ekl, also said the belt they were provided to secure Maday's cuffed hands had a worn-out Velcro fastener that failed. "Nick Argentine and his partner did not select the ill-equipped car they used to transport him nor did they select a defective belt they were given to transport him in," Ekl said. "I certainly hope the state's attorney is not trying to make these two fine men scapegoats."

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