District 11 Commander Under Investigation - NBC Chicago

District 11 Commander Under Investigation

Sources say child abuse complaint lodged against District 11's Penny Trahanas



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    Penny Trahanas

    A Chicago Police District Commander who was arrested last year on a misdemeanor charge before being cleared is now under investigation for a new allegation.

    The Independent Police Review Authority, an outside agency that investigates officer misconduct, is now looking into a Department of Children and Family Services case file opened against Penny Trahanas, according to a police source.

    According to the source, Trahanas remains on active duty as the commander of the Harrison District while DCFS conducts its investigation into an allegation of child abuse lodged by her teenaged daughter.

    "DCFS is investigating an allegation of abuse," DCFS Spokesman Jimmie Whitelow confirmed to  NBCChicago.  Whitelow said there had been no prior DCFS contact with this family.

    Last year, Trahanas was arrested and charged with telephone harassment after her ex-boyfriend, Chicago police officer Matthew Jackson, claimed Trahanas made threats against him, despite securing an order of protection against her a few days earlier.

    Court documents stated that Trahanas suggested during the call that she could hurt his career. In the police report from the incident, Jackson stated he was concerned Trahanas would do "everything within her power to try and have him fired from his job.”

    Trahanas was eventually cleared of the charge after her attorney chalked the phone call up to a stormy break-up and nothing more.

    Trahanas has been with the department about 25 years. She's earned no love from bloggers who write about the Chicago Police Department and have branded her with the nickname "Henny Penny."

    Paul Huebl, a former Chicago Police Officer of 12 years and now a private investigator who has criticized Trahanas with several write-ups on his blog, Crime File News, told NBC Chicago that Trahanas had no business ever being in a command position with the force.

    "She’s an embarrassment. The fact that she’s a commander and she's embroiled on all this is an absolute embarrassment," said Huebl.

    Efforts to reach Trahanas for comment were unsuccessful.