sgt ronald watts

In CPD's Biggest Scandal, 14 More Convictions Are Thrown Out

All of the cases are tied to corrupt officers who once patrolled the Chicago Housing Authority's former Ida B. Wells Housing Project

Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Cook County judge on Tuesday threw out the convictions of 14 more individuals, all of whom said they were framed by officers under the command of corrupt former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts.

It was the second of three hearings, where the convictions of nearly 90 individuals are being considered.

Last week, in the first round of dismissals, Judge Erica Reddick vacated the convictions of 19 people. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx appeared at that hearing and afterward decried the corruption which led to what has become the biggest scandal in CPD history.

“We were able to provide the relief to right the wrongs of the past but make no mistake, this is a sorrowful, sorrowful moment, knowing that these individuals will never get that time back in their lives,” Foxx said at a news conference following the hearing.

“Once again I find myself in the position of offering an apology to those individuals who were caught up not only in a crime that they didn’t commit, but again caught up by those who were sworn to protect them,” Foxx continued.

Watts and his team worked for more than a decade in the former Ida B. Wells housing project on Chicago's South Side. He and one other officer were ultimately convicted of corruption charges and served time in prison. But the majority of the officers on his team remain on the force, although the state's attorney has indicated most will never be called again to testify in a criminal case.

More than 100 convictions related to the Watts scandal have been overturned in recent years, while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s investigation has dragged on.

Contact Us