A Chicago police officer falsely reported that his personal car had been stolen 44 times since 2009 to avoid paying parking and automated traffic tickets, officials said Tuesday.
Jeffrey Kriv, 56, made more than $145,000 as a Chicago cop in 2021 and retired this month, according to public records. He faces felony charges for four of the 44 alleged filings.
The Chicago Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into Kriv after receiving a complaint in February 2022.
They determined that Kriv contested 44 tickets since 2009 in administrative hearings, claiming each time that the citations were issued to his vehicle after his girlfriend stole it, prosecutor Thomas Fryska said.
Kriv allegedly made false statements during the hearings and submitted nearly identical false police reports to support his claim each time. All of the tickets were dismissed, Fryska said.
Prosecutors charged him with presenting the false theft defense during hearings in January, August, and May 2021 and in September 2022.
In another case, Kriv contested a parking ticket on his BMW by claiming that he had been issued another ticket for the same charge 15 minutes earlier, Fryska said. But investigators determined that the “duplicate” ticket was really an altered ticket that Kriv personally issued to a different driver on a different date.
Since 2009, Kriv avoided paying $3,665 by claiming that his girlfriend had stolen his car on the dates in question, Fryska said. In the four cases he is charged with, he allegedly avoided paying $330.
According to city records, in 2021, Kriv made $111,966 in base pay and $34,730.16 in overtime pay. A document provided by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said Kriv retired on January 20, ten days after he was relieved of his police powers due to the investigation.
Kriv joined the Chicago Police Department in 1996 and most recently worked in the Near West (12th) District, said defense attorney Tim Grace.
Grace, who called the allegations “interesting,” said Kriv received 175 commendations and honorable mentions during his time on the force.
Judge Kelly McCarthy released Kriv on his own recognizance.
He is charged with five felony counts of forgery and four felony counts of perjury.
Last year, Kriv was recognized for making 114 DUI arrests in 2021, the fifth-most among all law enforcement officers in the state. The top four were state troopers.