A former veteran North Chicago police officer was indicted Wednesday on charges including official misconduct for allegedly soliciting a prostitute while on duty, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Ludwin W. Barreno was indicted by a Lake County grand jury on charges of official misconduct, patronizing a prostitute and solicitation of a sexual act.
North Chicago Police Chief Richard Wilson said in a written statement Wednesday afternoon that Barreno, an eight-year veteran of the department, resigned his position prior to the completion of the investigation resulting in the indictments.
“It is truly a disappointment when an officer of the law is charged criminally for breaking the very laws he was sworn to uphold,” Wilson said. “The North Chicago Police Department has no tolerance for officers who engage in any form of misconduct. That’s why it assisted Lake County prosecutors at every turn during the course of its investigation.”
Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said Wednesday afternoon that authorities are in contact with Barreno’s attorney, and the former officer is expected to surrender later Wednesday.
Nerheim declined to comment further on the case.
According to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, the charges are the result of a joint investigation conducted by the North Chicago Police Department and investigators from the state’s attorney’s office.
The indictments relate to incidents alleged to have occurred in April and June of this year involving two different individuals in or around the areas of 14th Street and Dugdale Road in North Chicago, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Official misconduct is a Class 3 felony, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison upon conviction, but a probationary sentence is also possible.
Patronizing a prostitute is a Class 4 felony carrying a maximum possible sentence of three years in prison on conviction, and solicitation of a sexual act is a misdemeanor charge.
A no-bond warrant has been issued for Barreno.
Wilson said that upon learning of potential misconduct by the officer in question, the North Chicago Police Department opened an internal investigation to determine whether the officer violated any policies or general orders.
The officer then resigned in late June, before the investigation was completed, he said.