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Tab for murder investigation tops $35,700
By Diane Dungey | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 9:44 PM

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Originally published Feb. 6, 1993

Palatine's cost to investigate the 1-month-old mass murder case has climbed to more than $35,700 - not including police officers' regular pay - and bills are continuing to arrive.

Overtime pay for police officers, investigators and support staff dropped sharply to $2,841 for the two weeks between Jan. 17 and Jan. 30, Palatine village manager Michael Kadlecik said Friday.

In the first eight days following the Jan. 8 murders of seven workers at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant, overtime pay alone cost Palatine $21,000.

For now, investigators are working two shifts, which has helped reduce overtime, Kadlecik said.

But as the overtime costs dropped, bills for setting up the murder task force headquarters have been coming in. Those costs now add up to $11,900, Kadlecik said.

"A lot of those are one-time costs, but we still haven't gotten all the bills," Kadlecik said.

Since Jan. 12, the task force has been housed in the formerly vacant Palatine Elementary District 15 administrative offices at 505 S. Quentin Road.

Although the building already was furnished with desks and chairs and Palatine is not paying rent, the village is being billed for installing more than 25 telephone lines and moving in equipment, including 20 personal computers, two copy machines and two paper shredders.

So far, bills range from $2,880 for computer rental for the task force to $97 for sandwiches and $10 for a coffee pot for investigators who initially worked around the clock on the case.

In its first meeting after the murders, the Palatine village board allocated $50,000 for the investigation and earmarked $44,000 of that for overtime. But that is not a limit, Kadlecik said.

If it's exceeded, "we're obviously not going to tell the task force, 'Go home, you've overspent your budget,'" he said.

Kadlecik said a 0.5 percent local sales tax, approved amid controversy last spring, should provide "more than enough" funds for the investigation.

A dozen other towns are sharing the costs of the investigation. The 75-member task force includes officers from Arlington Heights, Chicago, Des Plaines, Elgin, Elmhurst, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Mundelein, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Schaumburg and Skokie, and those departments are paying their own salaries and overtime.