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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Wife-Killer’s Son Sues Police Again

WHEATON, Ill. (CN) - After a federal court dismissed his constitutional claims, the son of wife-killing cop Drew Peterson re-filed in state court, claiming that the former Oak Brook police chief spread a rumor that he had rehearsed an alibi for his father.

Stephen Peterson sued the Village of Oak Brook, its former Police Chief Thomas Sheahan, and the chairman of its police board, Fredrick Cappetta, in DuPage County Court.

Three years after Stephen Peterson became an Oak Brook police officer, his father Drew Peterson came under investigation when his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing.

Drew Peterson was convicted in September 2012 of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He is in jail, awaiting sentencing.

Stephen Peterson claimed in his federal complaint that he was wrongly fired from the police force in February 2011, but U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan dismissed the case.

Now Peterson has re-filed in state court, claiming Police Chief Sheahan conspired to fire him, saying "I will bankrupt him. I will chop off his balls."

The complaint states: "Chief Sheehan [sic], fully knowing it was not true, started to spread false rumors throughout the Police Department of the Village of Oak Brook that Drew Peterson, Officer Peterson, and Oak Brook Police Department Sergeant Randy Mucha had been in a local bar discussing, planning, and rehearsing an alibi for their whereabouts on the night that Drew Peterson's wife went missing.

"Geraldo Rivera reported about the rehearsed alibi account on his nationally syndicated television show 'Geraldo at Large.'

"State's Attorney [James] Glasgow had conducted an investigation and no one would confirm hearing this conversation about rehearsing an alibi," according to the complaint.

Peterson claims: "Even before the notoriety of the Drew Peterson case, Chief Sheahan had made it very clear to other members of the Oak Brook Police Department command of his dislike for Officer Peterson and his intent to have him removed from the department in any way he could.

"Chief Sheahan ordered members of his command to interview and harass Officer Peterson's former wife and his current girlfriend 'in order to make his life a living hell' and 'to get him to just resign.'

"Members of his command refused that order claiming, 'Those ladies have nothing to do with this,'" according to the complaint.

Peterson claims Sheahan also "sent to Officer Peterson's girlfriend a book entitled 'How to Live like a Lady: Lessons in Life, Manners, and Style.'"

Peterson seeks damages for violation of due process, tortious interference, breach of contract, defamation and slander and emotional distress.

He is represented by John DeRose, of Hinsdale.

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