Fmr. Cook Co. cop claims he's being targeted by police - KMSP-TV

Fmr. Cook Co. cop claims he's being targeted by police

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Bill Pelarenos Bill Pelarenos
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

He was once one of the state's top cops when it comes to catching drunk drivers. Now, he says, he's being targeted by police because he's helping lawyers defend DUI's.

Until retiring earlier this year, Bill Pelarenos was part of the Cook County Sheriff's Police DUI Task Force and made over 900 DUI arrests during a 30-year police career.

Soon after retirement, Pelarenos began holding paid seminars to teach police officers what he had learned.

"It is the procedure for proper DUI enforcement. The standard field sobriety test, the arrest, the breathalyzer. Whatever from A to Z," Pelarenos said.

But after some interest from defense attorneys, Pelarenos began teaching the same seminar to lawyers who handle DUI cases, like Sammy Azhari.

"I wanted to learn what Mr. Pelarenos had to say about his years of experience in the field and give me some opportunities to defend my clients a little better in court," Azhari said.

Pelarenos says that's when he started getting harassed by Cook County State's Attorney investigators serving him with subpoenas to appear in court on old cases he had little to do with.

"They were sending investigators to my house. They handed a subpoena to my son. I called and complained and said 'hey, you don't give a 13-year-old boy a subpoena!' They're like, 'we can do that. You're aware of the subpoena. If you don't come it's contempt of court,'" Pelarenos said.

Video from his home surveillance system last week shows Pelarenos refusing to accept a subpoena from a state's attorney investigator while taking out the trash. The investigator then tries to tape the subpoena to the door of his home but a short time later it blows away.

The investigator retrieves the subpoena then tucks it under the back windshield of Pelarenos' car.

"Well the investigators threatened to arrest me, so it's obvious some of the investigators don't like me," Pelarenos said. "Maybe they don't like me teaching attorneys. Maybe they don't like me holding these seminars."

A spokesperson for the state's attorney's office called the claim "absurd…False and frivolous. These are legitimate subpoenas to get (Pelarenos) into court on cases in which he had direct involvement...Why would a former cop would be reluctant to see his cases through?"

Pelarenos says he plans to continue teaching the seminars for both police and defense attorneys and continue to refuse subpoenas from the people he used to work with.

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