Campus Safety Officer Was Fired From CPD

Michael McDevitt | The PHOENIXA Campus Safety officer was hired in 2008 after being discharged from CPD in 2006.

A Loyola Campus Safety officer was fired from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in 2006 for allegedly shooting her service weapon during a domestic altercation, according to records obtained by The Phoenix.

Alicia Roman, then a probationary officer, was discharged from CPD in April 2006 after multiple gunshots were fired from her weapon into the wall of a residence while she was off duty in February 2006, according to CPD documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The alleged discharge of Roman’s weapon was part of an argument between Roman and her estranged husband, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in May. Documents further show that “six or seven” shots were fired in the home during the altercation.

Roman, now 37, found a new job years later as a Campus Safety officer at Loyola University Chicago. Records show Roman began working for Campus Safety in 2008.

Director of Campus Safety Thomas Murray confirmed Roman is still patrolling for the department. Roman is also still armed. Murray said Roman was hired before he came to Loyola and wouldn’t comment further on if Loyola knew about her history with CPD before she was hired.

“She is a good employee,” Murray said.

When asked if the university was concerned about Roman’s history, Murray said if he had any concerns about his officers, he would act on them.

When the editor of The Phoenix saw Roman standing on the sidewalk outside of Loyola’s School of Communication and approached her, Roman declined to comment, referring questions to “the attorneys.”

After another Phoenix staff member attempted to take Roman’s photograph on the public sidewalk, she began demanding the staff member delete any photos. He declined.

Christopher Hacker | The PHOENIXOfficer Roman stands outside Loyola’s School of Communication. Christopher Hacker | The PHOENIX

Loyola’s Director of Communication Steve Christensen declined The PHOENIX’s request to discuss Campus Safety’s hiring process, so it’s unclear whether Loyola knew about Roman’s history before hiring her.

It’s also unclear if Roman was ever charged with a crime in relation to the 2006 shooting incident.

However, Loyola would likely be within legal right to hire Roman despite her background. John Keigher, chief legal counsel of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, said if an officer is charged in an incident such as discharging a service weapon but isn’t convicted, the officer wouldn’t be prohibited from working at another agency.

An officer is typically not prohibited from working at a law enforcement agency unless the officer was commissioned and convicted with a felony or one of 20 misdemeanors, according to Keigher, whose state agency promotes and maintains standards for law enforcement officers in Illinois. These include, as defined by Illinois law, misdemeanors relating to issues such as sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a child, prostitution, aggravated assault and theft.

This wasn’t the only issue Roman has seen related to her policing, however. She was named as a defendant in a complicated lawsuit against Loyola in recent years.

In 2015, a former Loyola employee filed a federal lawsuit against the university, Roman and another Campus Safety officer.

The lawsuit, filed by a former employee who worked for the Loyola University Museum of Art, alleged that Roman grabbed and pushed her in November 2014 after the university had ordered her to be escorted out after a work-related incident.

Roman and the other officer escorted the employee out of the Water Tower Campus’ Lewis Towers, according to the lawsuit. The employee went to the nearby Argo Tea shortly after she was escorted out, where she alleged Roman grabbed and pushed her, since the officers were under the impression that she couldn’t be on Loyola’s property, according to the lawsuit.

Records show Loyola owns the property Argo Tea leases space in, but the tea shop is a private business.

Roman, however, alleged in court documents that the employee resisted arrest and pushed Roman in the chest.

The employee ultimately was arrested and taken to a Chicago police station, the suit describes, and she was charged with criminal trespass to land and battery. A judge found the employee not guilty of criminal trespass but guilty of battery, according to the lawsuit.

The employee alleged the university discriminated against her because she had a mental illness and inflicted her with emotional distress.

The involved parties are scheduled for a settlement meeting in January, but will first meet with a magistrate judge in December, according to Helen Bloch, the employee’s lead attorney in the suit.

Bloch said Roman “certainly abused her powers” in the incident pertaining to the lawsuit.

Christensen declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the university doesn’t comment on litigation matters.

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