President Catanzara COPA FOIA

John Catanzara, President of the Fraternal Order of Police and Chicago Police officer, has an incredibly checkered history within the the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Catanzara has racked up nearly 50 unique complaints against him over his many years with the CPD. While that makes him very unique by itself he is even more unique in that most of the complaints are from internal sources – his fellow officers and superiors.

This FOIA request is seeking to allow CJP to compile documents related to every complaint made against Catanzara and any documents related to any subsequent investigation so that we can provide a deep dive analysis of his history. As the elected leader of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) it is amazing to realize Catanzara has racked up one of the largest sets of complaints against him in the entire CPD – mostly from internal sources – and yet he still won his election.

FOIA Content

To:  Citizen Office of Police Accountability 

Subject:  FOIA – John Catanzara CR and Investigative Records

In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 

FOIA A

Please provide in digital format all records related to the complaint registry numbers detailed below and all records related to any subsequent investigation of any allegations found within. This should at a minimum include:

  1. the initial complaint filed 
  2. all statements from victims
  3. all statements from witnesses
  4. all findings 
  5. all records related to any grievance filed by the accused officer with their union including any documents related to any arbitration process
  6. all records related to the final discipline served by the officer
  7. all records collected in support of or against the allegation(s) contained in the complaint registry
  8. all records related to communication with the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department or any member of the Chicago Police Department regarding the Department’s review of any sustained findings and the recommendations for discipline. This should include any communication to or from the Chicago Police Department regarding their agreement or disagreement with the findings or discipline recommendation. 

Complaint Registry Numbers

  1. 1003083
  2. 1013430
  3. 1017379
  4. 1062978
  5. 1063679
  6. 287661
  7. 287850
  8. 287880
  9. 300954
  10. 307999 


FOIA B

Please provide in digital format all records related to the complaint registry numbers detailed below and all records related to any subsequent investigation of any allegations found within. This should at a minimum include:

  1. the initial complaint filed
  2. all statements from victims
  3. all statements from witnesses
  4. all findings 
  5. all records related to any grievance filed by the accused officer with their union including any documents related to any arbitration process
  6. all records related to the final discipline served by the officer
  7. all records collected in support of or against the allegation(s) contained in the complaint registry
  8. all records related to communication with the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department or any member of the Chicago Police Department regarding the Department’s review of any sustained findings and the recommendations for discipline. This should include any communication to or from the Chicago Police Department regarding their agreement or disagreement with the findings or discipline recommendation. 

Complaint Registry Numbers

  1. 1004628 
  2. 1040916
  3. 1064757
  4. 1065023
  5. 1065834
  6. 1070870
  7. 1077145
  8. 1083273
  9. 1083274
  10. 1086941
  11. 1088113
  12. 259365
  13. 265040
  14. 268686
  15. 269591
  16. 272029
  17. 273267
  18. 278621
  19. 278789
  20. 279169
  21. 280456
  22. 281714
  23. 289872
  24. 290353
  25. 292005
  26. 292069
  27. 293881
  28. 309635
  29. C226372
  30. C227571
  31. C237311
  32. C237762
  33. C240698
  34. C241532
  35. C256223
  36. C257791
  37. C257956
  38. C259365
  39. C265040
  40. C268686

FOIA C
Please provide in digital format all records related to any complaint registry numbers not detailed in FOIA A or B that have been field against Chicago Police Officer John Catanzara and all records related to any subsequent investigation of any allegations found within. This should at a minimum include:

  1. the initial complaint filed
  2. all statements from victims
  3. all statements from witnesses
  4. all findings 
  5. all records related to any grievance filed by the accused officer with their union including any documents related to any arbitration process
  6. all records related to the final discipline served by the officer
  7. all records collected in support of or against the allegation(s) contained in the complaint registry
  8. all records related to communication with the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department or any member of the Chicago Police Department regarding the Department’s review of any sustained findings and the recommendations for discipline. This should include any communication to or from the Chicago Police Department regarding their agreement or disagreement with the findings or discipline recommendation.

DEFINITIONS
“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

“Digital format” means data in a format that can be easily processed by a computer without human intervention while ensuring no semantic meaning is lost.

INSTRUCTIONS

If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

(b) general subject matter of the Document;

(c) the date of the Document;

(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other; and

(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;

(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.

I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3).  Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email.  

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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