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Bond issues apology for offending officers
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/26/2010 10:24 AM | Updated: 3/26/2010 10:25 AM

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State Sen. Michael Bond of Grayslake was scrambling Thursday to apologize to law enforcement after he passed a resolution honoring a Zion man who allegedly ran over three police officers before being shot to death.

"It was a mistake," said Bond Thursday night.

Bond submitted a resolution honoring Mycol French, 29, and conveying the General Assembly's "sincere sympathy" to his family, including five daughters, on March 3.

Such resolutions honoring the dead are submitted by the hundreds at the Capitol with lawmakers seeking to recognize deceased constituents and console their families. They regularly are approved en masse without any vetting or debate.

The families receive a copy of the resolution.

The problem this time, however, is that French was shot by officers of the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group Feb. 1 when authorities say he ran three of them over in his car as he tried to escape during a drug bust.

French has a long rap sheet that includes battery, domestic battery, cocaine dealing, DUI, criminal trespass and drug possession dating back to 1997.

At the time of the incident he was facing felony charges for heroin possession and dealing, according to Rod Drobinski, Lake County's senior assistant state's attorney on drug crimes.

Bond says the resolution was submitted because a staffer copied the information from his obituary in a paper and the cause of death and other details were not known.

Word of the resolution made it to officers Monday morning, sparking a chain reaction of outrage across the top brass of suburban police departments. The task force is made up of officers from departments throughout Lake County.

Bond says he talked with the task force's deputy chief, Jeff Padilla, and apologized Thursday. Padilla couldn't be reached for comment late Thursday.

However, the apology and reason behind the resolution clearly had not yet reached other law enforcement officials involved.

Mundelein Police Chief Raymond Rose, a member of the task force's advisory board, said Thursday night he found the resolution "outrageous."

Rose said he learned of the resolution from an officer in his department who was run over by French, pinned between his car and another. The officer received treatment for weeks and still is in rehabilitation for leg problems, he said.

Rose e-mailed the resolution and information on French's criminal history to seemingly every police chief in Lake County and beyond, encouraging them to express their opinion to Bond and other local lawmakers.

Told that Bond said it was a mistake made by staff, Rose said "there should be some editing of this practice."

Rose said French had three outstanding warrants at the time officers tried to arrest him at a location where a drug deal was taking place.

"For the Senate of the state of Illinois to be recognizing a violent drug dealer is just outrageous," he said. "This guy is a serious player."

Bond said he plans to issue an official statement apologizing for the resolution and continue his calls to law enforcement to explain the mistake. He said he has worked with the task force in the past to pass legislation to help their work.

"We have historically a positive working relationship," he said.