Ex-Markham deputy police chief to plead guilty to lying to FBI: source
KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter August 15, 2013 10:24PM
Tony D. DeBois, 41, of Matteson, Ill., departs from the Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago, Ill., after a court appearance on Thursday, March 7, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 15, 2013 10:43PM
Markham’s former deputy police chief, Tony DeBois, is poised to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about having sex at the police station.
Following a high-profile arrest in March, the burly 42-year-old cop was accused of sexually abusing a female prisoner in the south suburb.
But according to a source familiar with the case, he’s now negotiating a deal to plead to a far less serious offense — lying to federal agents about consensual sex he had with a “girlfriend” inside his office.
An “embarrassed and ashamed” DeBois has admitted that he lied to the agents about the workplace sex but says he did so to hide an extramarital affair from his wife, the source said.
The “girlfriend” he says he had sex with at work is a different woman from the one who made the sexual-abuse allegations that led to the charges in March — which DeBois continues to deny — the source said.
At the time of his arrest, DeBois’ then-attorney, Bob Kuzas, said the sex-abuse allegations against DeBois smelled like political payback from a pair of dirty officers whom DeBois blew the whistle on.
Court filings show that DeBois came under suspicion for the alleged September 2010 rape after two fellow Markham cops were investigated for stealing cash during a raid on a warehouse.
When a woman picked up in the raid claimed DeBois forced her to have sex with him in return for favorable handling of her case, one of the alleged dirty cops backed her story, telling the FBI he had seen DeBois have sex with the tearful woman, court papers say.
Were DeBois to be convicted of that offense, he could face up to 30 years behind bars. But under the proposed plea deal, he would face a maximum of only five years and could get probation.
DeBois’ current attorney, Terry Ekl, declined to comment on the pending deal, as did U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Randall Samborn.
But court records indicate that DeBois asked Judge Joan Lefkow last month for the chance to change his plea, and that he’s expected to do so at a Sept. 5 hearing.
It’s likely to be the final act in his 17-year police career, which has seen him named in multiple excessive force lawsuits, many of which have been settled.
Earlier this year, a distant relation who was testifying in a bank-heist trial compared him to the corrupt cop played by Denzel Washington in the movie “Training Day” — a comparison DeBois angrily rejected.