Will County has agreed to pay $126,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by a suburban cop whom the Will County sheriff wrongly accused of being the “Honeybee killer,” the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Lynwood Officer Brian Dorian, 41, spent six days in jail on a murder charge in 2010 after he was falsely accused of a rural shooting spree that killed one man and injured two more.
But he was released and exonerated after computer evidence showed he’d been at home, using the Internet at the time of the killing. The real killer, Gary Amaya—who got his nickname because he asked a victim about honeybees before opening fire—was himself killed during a botched robbery two months later.
Dorian sued in federal court, claiming then-Sheriff Paul Kaupas and his detectives violated his rights to due process, unlawfully imprisoned him and maliciously prosecuted him.
A settlement quietly signed earlier this month and obtained by the Sun-Times under the FOIA contains no admission of wrongdoing by authorities. A spokeswoman for the current sheriff, Mike Kelley, declined to comment Wednesday.
The case was just one of a series of high-profile embarrassments over the last decade for law enforcement in Will County, which also botched the original investigation of the murder of 3-year-old Riley Fox by wrongly charging her father; and failed to properly investigate the murder of Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, until his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing.
Dorian’s attorney, Gregory Kulis, said Dorian, who is still working as a Lynwood cop, is “relieved that this chapter of his life is closed” and that he can now devote himself to his career.
“He had always been very proud of being in law enforcement,” Kulis said.