OP cop facing charges resigns; suspected in truck hijacking

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By BILL DWYER

Oak Park police officer Mani Adams is suspected by the FBI of being involved in a December 2004 hijacking of a semi-trailer truck carrying $1 million in electronics.

Adams resigned from the force Friday after being officially brought up on 21 departmental charges by Police Chief Rick Tanksley. Those charges are related to the department's internal investigation of Adams alleged role in the hijacking.

Adams had been scheduled to go before the village's board of Fire and Police Commissioners Monday morning for a hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to proceed on the charges, including 19 counts of insubordination which are alleged to have taken place during a Nov. 8, 2005 interview by the department's Internal Affairs officer and a deputy chief of police.

The statement of charges alleges that Adams "was insubordinate on 19 separate occasions during his formal interrogation on Nov. 8." The charge sheet accuses the veteran officer, who previously served as a Resident Beat Officer and a School Resource Officer, with "willfully and intentionally (refusing) to answer questions" that it characterized as directly and narrowly related to the performance of his official duties the night of Dec. 10, 2004.

Besides the alleged acts of insubordination, Adams was charged with failing to notify his superiors at the police department in the required time frame that he was the subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI regarding the Dec. 10, 2004 theft of a semi-trailer truck containing $1 million in electronic equipment. That truck was involved in a collision with a utility pole at the mouth of an alley on the 1100 Highland Avenue block where Adams resides. Adams was contacted by the FBI on Sept. 27, 2005, but did not inform the department until Oct. 15.

Police personnel are required by departmental regulations to inform the department of their involvement in an outside criminal investigation within 24 hours. 

"The officer resigned Friday," Tanksley said Monday. "His letter was brief and offered no reasons."

A much more complete report on this story will appear this week in Wednesday Journal.

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