Former Countryside Police Chief Swanson sues Chicago Tribune

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

COUNTRYSIDE – Former Countryside police Chief Timothy Swanson filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Tribune on May 3 concerning a series of articles published last year about his police helicopter program, the newspaper reported.

Swanson, now police chief at the Momence Police Department, claimed that the articles included false statements about him. In the articles, Tribune reporter Joe Mahr detailed Swanson's extensive efforts in starting a police helicopter program in the Chicago area to assist in tracking down criminals and finding missing residents. Swanson reportedly misspent taxpayer money and partnered with a convicted felon.

Mahr and the city of Countryside are listed as defendants. The lawsuit claims that Countryside officials made defamatory statements about, "Swanson's participation in the program to anyone who would listen."

Swanson said Countryside officials falsely told others that he had "sold or bartered" the helicopter equipment and used the helicopters for personal use, the Tribune report said.

Swanson, of Bourbonnais, is also the chief of municipal policing for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Department.

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