By Bob Uphues
A Riverside police officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay after he was charged by Downers Grove police on Dec. 23 with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Josh Teune, 28, was off duty when he was pulled over by police about 2:15 a.m. at 55th Street and Western Avenue in Westmont. A Downers Grove police officer reported seeing a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee weaving within its lane of travel and reaching speeds as high as 55 mph in a 35 mph zone while heading eastbound on 55th Street.
During the traffic stop, Teune identified himself as a Riverside police officer and refused to submit to field sobriety tests and a breath test.
Downers Grove police charged him with one count of DUI. He was not issued any traffic citations, according to the Downers Grove police report, "as all the traffic violations occurred in Westmont."
In a press release issued on Dec. 24, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel announced that he had placed Teune on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
"When a law enforcement officer breaks the law, it is extremely disappointing," said Weitzel. "We are held to a higher standard in the eyes of our community. I expect more from village of Riverside police officers every day. Bad behavior combined with irresponsible decision-making will not be tolerated at RPD. If you break the law, you have to suffer the consequences."
Weitzel said Teune would be relieved of his police powers while he's on leave. He said he couldn't comment on any possible disciplinary action at this time. The outcome of the DuPage County court case could factor into the discipline meted out.
"He'll be disciplined," said Weitzel. "What that'll be, I can't say."
The suspension makes a thin manpower situation in the Riverside Police Department a little thinner.
With Teune out, the department is down three police officers. Deputy Chief John Krull retires next week, and the department has been down an officer since August, when Officer Edwin Ruiz resigned.
A new officer will start the Illinois State Police academy in January, but won't graduate from the program until April, after which he'll take part in three months of supervised field training.
This story has been changed to correct the action taken against the police officer. He has not been suspended, he has been placed on administrative leave. A suspension would be a disciplinary action.