Frankfort police are seeking a court order to force a Mokena woman to tell the Frankfort Board of Fire and Police Commissioners how her ex-boyfriend, Frankfort police officer Donald Walsh, hit, head-butted and choked her last summer, according to a report from WLS Radio.
The 32-year old woman refused to testify against Walsh, 29, of Monee, at a commission disciplinary hearing in October, said WLS. If she continues to refuse to testify, she could be held in contempt by a judge.
The woman was subpoenaed to testify at Walsh’s disciplinary hearing on Oct. 10.
After confirming her name, address and status as Walsh’s ex-girlfriend with a village lawyer, the woman refused to discuss the incident further, WLS reports.
“Anything pertaining to the incident of that night, I’d like not to answer questions regarding to it. I plead the Fifth,” she said, according to a transcript of the hearing reported by WLS.
When lawyers for the village and commission told her she was neither in a criminal proceeding, nor at risk of incriminating herself, and therefore was not protected by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, she maintained her silence regarding the incident, said WLS.
The woman said her family had been through enough and that she is a single mother doing what she feels is best for her children, WLS reports.
Walsh was arrested on July 25, when the woman’s daughter, a 9-year old girl, called the Mokena police to her mother’s house at 3:48 a.m. after hearing her mother’s screams. The girl also saw Walsh on top of her mother, choking and punching her.
The couple initially argued about text messages, before the altercation escalated to physical violence.
Police say that Walsh also threatened to kill himself, pointing a gun at his head and putting it in his mouth.
Walsh gave a conflicting statement, claiming he had only tried to restrain the woman when she attacked him and denying any threats to commit suicide.
Walsh is currently on administrative leave without pay and is scheduled to appear in Will County court on Nov. 13 for domestic battery charges, WLS reports.
According to WLS, the woman sustained a black eye, scratches and cuts, among other injuries.
John Briohier, the attorney representing the commission, says that nothing the woman said in police reports and 911 recordings is admissible in the disciplinary proceeding. If she continues to refuse to discuss the incident, the village will obtain a court order forcing her to testify, reports WLS.
According to WLS, Frankfort police chief John Burica filed a petition to compel her to testify on Thursday.
“Probably in 30 years I have encountered this one other time,” WLS reports Broihier said. “It is rare.”
David Silverman, the attorney representing the village police, said if a judge grants the order and she still refuses to testify, the judge will decide if she is in contempt and determine what penalties she would face, said WLS.
If she does not testify, the commission would likely decide Walsh’s discipline based on previous testimony, WLS reports.
According to WLS, Walsh’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
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