WOODSTOCK – Police Sgt. Charles “Chip” Amati has been removed from his position as public information officer following revelations that he sent inappropriate texts to a 12-year-old girl and misused a law enforcement database.
Woodstock Police Chief Robert Lowen and Deputy Chief John Lieb will take over as the department’s go-between with the public. Lowen said he made the decision Wednesday.
“I just feel it’s more appropriate at this time to remove those duties from Sgt. Amati and to place them with myself and Deputy Chief Lieb,” Lowen said.
Amati was previously suspended without pay for 30 days by the Woodstock Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, which made the decision after a closed session hearing on Oct. 28.
In late August, Lowen asked Illinois State Police to investigate after Amati’s ex-girlfriend came forward alleging Amati had sent inappropriate texts to her daughter.
One text asked the 12-year-old to send “sexy pictures,” according to a Chicago Tribune report. State Police also found Amati had misused LEADS – Law Enforcement Agencies Data System – to check the background of the woman.
The 30-day suspension will be served on days the department deems it won’t “impact the operations of the police department or the city,” Lowen said – not at Amati’s discretion – as previously reported.
Amati has already served four days of the suspension, Lowen said Thursday.
Lowen said Amati’s role dealing with the public was a minor aspect of Amati’s responsibilities as special services coordinator, a title he will maintain. He will continue to look over the dispatch center and information systems, building functions, maintenance and in-car computers.
Amati’s salary will not be affected by the decision. Before the suspension, the 24-year veteran of the department was set to make $93,314 during fiscal 2014.
Lieb, who became deputy chief in 2011, has been with the force for 13 years.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said it will not pursue any criminal charges against Amati.