Late Thursday night, the chief of investigations at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office sent an unexpected email to dozens of colleagues. He would be resigning the next day, he said, effective immediately. James Roache did not give a reason for his departure in the message, copies of which were provided to CWBChicago by sources.
Roache’s sudden exit after five years as investigations chief raised eyebrows. So did his next-to-last paragraph:
I am resigning with my integrity, morals, and ethics intact. Such has always been important to me as once these are compromised there is no recovery. I believe this is the foundation which we entrust our careers with and the lives of victims, witnesses, and society members we encounter and often embrace. I know the audience receiving this email has integrity beyond reproach. I hope I have always earned your respect as you deserved such. You most definitely earned my respect and admiration.
With his email, Roache became the second high-ranking member of Foxx’s office this year to mention their personal integrity in an unexpected farewell message to staff members. Natosha Toller, head of the criminal prosecution branch, did the same thing in February.
“This has been extremely difficult both professionally and personally,” Roache wrote. “I genuinely appreciate all receiving this email as esteemed colleagues and friends.
About 140 state’s attorney employees, mostly from within the investigations bureau, received Roache’s message. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was not copied in.
Roache’s surprising, no-notice departure came hours before the public learned that Foxx’s husband summoned police to their home last weekend after she allegedly struck him during a domestic incident.
Foxx’s personal security detail, part of Roache’s domain, was stationed outside her home when Flossmoor police arrived. The Flossmoor cop who wrote a report to document what happened at the Foxx home ended with the following:
While I was working on this report, Richard Peck, an investigator from Kimberly Foxx’s executive protection unit, stopped at the Flossmoor Police Department. Richard stated if we needed anything we could contact him and he provided his contact number of [redacted]. Officer Estrada, Officer Carden, Sergeant Tencza, and I were wearing body worn cameras.”
Flossmorr PD declined a Freedom of Information Act request for the officers’ camera footage.
A source who has worked with Roache at the state’s attorney’s office called him “careful, deliberate.”
Roache thanked his colleagues for their “highest levels of integrity, compassion, empathy, and tireless dedication … You advocated for those impacted by crime and violence who were left physically and psychologically injured and often voiceless find justice. You walked victims through the darkest times in their lives and showed compassion and empathy. I cannot comprehend a more significant impact on society.”
Roache, who retired from the FBI in 2014 as senior supervisory resident agent after 22 years, shared one of his favorite quotes in the email. He said it came from former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell, who died last year:
The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
“I consider this quote so appropriate, impactful, and representative of my time with you. I was honored to discuss challenges and problems with many of you … I considered each of you genuine leaders who I consulted to discuss my challenges and problems with working collaboratively towards common goals. Thank you for your advice, counselling, and most importantly the moral character you carried with you during your respective careers.”
“I humbly wish you the very best in life as you continue to positively impact society in countless ways,” Roache concluded. “Please stay safe and healthy.”
On Friday, two sources said, members of the state’s attorney’s office lined up and applauded Roache as he headed out the door.
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