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May 20, 2024

LaSalle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne, ISP, and local reporting failures

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 1, 2016

LaSalle C0. (ECWd) –

We first reported on the lack of a paper trail regarding the investigation of an alleged solicitation of prostitution by LaSalle Officer Strand in this article.  All indications pointed to a cover-up.  We then followed it up with this article that continued to identify problems in this investigation of Officer Strand.  Then, in an attempt to discredit our work, the News Tribune ran this article that is now very problematic for that so called news agency. We covered some of those problems in this article.   Let us continue exposing the problems in LaSalle and this particular Illinois State Police District.  

“That doesn’t jibe with a review of the documents La Salle police provided to Edgar County Watchdogs, and which in turn were supplied to the NewsTribune.” (Collins – News Tribune)

Tom Collins’ statement is 100% misleading at best.  Our reporting was spot on and his claim it did not “jibe” with the review of the “documents” supplied to the News Tribune is false. I filed a FOIA for the so-called “documents” that were supplied to him and just as suspected, ONE document was provided and it was the very same one we pointed to in our original article on this cover-up.  Now that we know we can’t trust the reporting from Collins, let’s continue to show the potential impact such failures have on a community.

“And the investigation wasn’t completed entirely in-house.” (Collins -News Tribune)

No Mr. Collins, the investigation was not completed entirely in-house, nor was it even completed. Had you done your job you would have been able to report that to the good people of LaSalle County.

Collins’ reporting misled the public and now we have proof that the reporter and the people of LaSalle had best wake up and demand answers.  According to the most recent response from the Village of North Utica, owner of the computer in question regarding alleged pictures of  Officer Strand with a female either dressed or undressed (various stages of dress), the Illinois State Police failed to even look at the computer.

How can you claim an investigation of a potential crime was completed when they never even examined the computer in question? 

“Please note that no Utica Computer was examined by the ISP in this investigation.” (Village FOIA response) 

That takes us to the second part of Collins reporting in that article.

State police, Peru police and the state’s attorney’s office all reviewed the facts before Uranich settled on simple disciplinary action.” (Collins -News Tribune)

Collins’ claim is once again, false. The disciplinary action came before the end of the ISP report and now we know those so-called facts he eluded to failed to include key components of any real investigation.

ISP failures

  • Officer Strand not questioned
  • Computer not examined
  • Alleged prostitute not questioned
  • LaSalle PD Video interview points to conflicts with ISP report
  • No follow-up of additional information provided by a Police Officer
  1. What kind of criminal investigation fails to question the police officer in question?
  2. What kind of criminal investigation fails to examine the computers that contain potential evidence?
  3. What kind of criminal investigation fails to question the alleged prostitute?
  4. What kind of criminal investigation fails see the conflicts of an interview of a woman who was in fact contacted by Officer Strand?

Below is the video of Jillian Sherman, who was interviewed by the LaSalle Police Department.  Of interest in this matter is the fact the ISP confirmed the phone number of the woman matched the phone of Officer Strand.  Connect that dot with her interview comments and you find some very strange coincidences that appear to point to the actual cover up.

The woman claims the officer could only meet in LaSalle because he was on duty.  What are the odds of the now claimed “police impersonator” only willing to meet this woman in LaSalle?  What are the odds of the now claimed “police impersonator” contacting the very same woman contacted by Officer Strand?  What are the odds of the now claimed “police impersonator” spending $100 to talk to this woman?  She commented that the officer told her, her tags had expired but he was not going to write it up.  The ISP report makes reference to that incident but the Officer claimed she was not driving. “ChiefUranich stated Sgt. Strand said to himself he’s screwed because she wasn’t driving. ChiefUranich stated, Sgt. Strand informed him, he walked over to the car Sherman was in advising her she was lucky she wasn’t driving.”  Why would she be screwed if she was driving?  Expired tags have no bearing on who is driving so why has no one asked why this woman would be screwed if she was driving?

The ISP report states Officer Strand went to a Becks gas station in Peru and considering he was disciplined for going outside his district, that is consistent.  What is not consistent is the video interview states it was, in fact, a gas station in LaSalle. The woman explains the phone interaction on this matter in detail and considering the woman claimed to have a friend with her, we can only wonder why that person was not questioned to confirm the story.

According to the ISP report, “Chief Uranich mentioned he spoke with LaSalle State’s Attorney Brian Towne regarding the case and he too advised, why the Illinois State Police is getting involved when there’s no crime.”

So LaSalle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne was privy to this investigation and advised there’s no crime?  How could he know that without the investigation being completed?

From the ISP investigation file: “Buffo said Officer Zebron told him he would fully cooperate with us if we needed to speak with him regarding what he knows about the situation.”

So a fully cooperative potential witness is identified by the ISP yet there was no record of him ever being questioned by the ISP?  Better yet, reading the ISP report it appears they did nothing but write down what other police officers did in “their” investigation.  What kind of investigative work fails to question numerous people named by other officers, let alone fail to question the alleged prostitute or officer in question?

LaSalle Police Officer Buffo appears to have key information but all indications point to nothing being done.  Buffo contacted the ISP in April to provide additional information as well as check on the status of the investigation.  It is in that report, found here, that point to serious concerns regarding the ISP.

The ISP report in this document that Officer Buffo was interviewed on March 11, 2016, by Zone 3 Investigations.

How ironic that a FOIA request for ALL investigative reports on this matter DID NOT include any report for any interview dated March 11, 2106? 

Not only did we not receive any report from the claimed March 11, 2016, interview of Officer Buffo, we were not denied any other reports, which indicates the matter is closed.  So what we have now is an officer of the law providing additional information that he feels is pertinent to the criminal investigation, to include details and names, and nothing is done.

As we stated in our first article, this has all appearances of a cover-up.  You don’t have to be a Perry Mason to see it either!

With Brian Towne chiming in before the investigation is even completed we once again raise the flag of public awareness to those in LaSalle County.  It’s clear there is a problem and this one case is yet another piece of evidence that the citizens can no longer trust certain people responsible for enforcing our laws and protecting the people.

We suggest you read the ISP report, watch the video below, and read the previous articles. We are confident once doing that you will see exactly what we see, a cover-up.


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  • G. Barraclough
    Posted at 15:41h, 01 November

    The normal expectation of small-time, parochial operations in Illinois like LaSalle County, LaSalle and Spring Valley is the careless, sub-standard work and corrupt malfeasance we see here being exposed by the Edgar County Watchdogs. And, they did not disappoint (i.e. the Watchdogs, the police and public officials). But, Illinois citizens do have a very high expectation of the work performed by the Illinois State Police, or at least they used to, notwithstanding the massive production of corruption in Springfield and Chicago.

    The big question is, does Governor Rauner and ISP Director Leo Schmitz know about the venal, shoddy and non-professional work reflected in these ISP reports (and lack thereof) by Special Agents of the ISP Zone 3 DCI. The Special Agents in the DCI are supposed to be the cream of the crop. But instead of performing their work here in a fashion which reflects the finest traditions of the Illinois State Police and their motto of integrity, service, and pride, this mishmash of nonsense looks like the motto should be changed to ineptness, slovenly and pusillanimous.

    So, Governor Rauner and Director Schmitz, what are you going to do about this. This is something you can fix in Illinois.

  • Sue
    Posted at 20:35h, 01 November

    The link to the News Tribune article says “page not found”–I wonder why????

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 20:49h, 01 November

      Worked fine for me.

      • Anon
        Posted at 19:43h, 03 November

        Try it again now Kirk

        Seems the Trib changed up their format and searching for Townes name now dating back to 1/1/2010, “coincidentally” brings up just 13 total results, zero for “Safe” yet 19 for “Walmart”

  • Warren J. Le Fever
    Posted at 09:23h, 02 November

    As previous person “Sue” commented, the link to the newspaper is not available. It is also unavailable in a link in your previous article. All readers of this article understand why. The newspaper is embarrassed. It is an example why you Watchdogs exist and are good for society. If you had not posted a factual rebuttal to the newspaper cover-up article, the original cover-up article would be a referral item that would be used against local questioners. Same old, same old.
    Again in this story, the same four problems destroying this state are evident:
    1. Wrongdoing found and not pursued or prosecuted by local or state authorities
    2. Newspaper assistance in the cover-up.
    3. Missing information and not available information for reasons advantageous to the accused wrongdoer.
    4. somebody with a law degree in the way.
    Same old, Same old… With no help in sight. What a sorry mess.

    • G. Barraclough
      Posted at 11:17h, 03 November

      2(a) Misquote the law.
      (b) Misapply the law
      (c) Quote the law only in part to justify their

      5. Public officials, sworn and unsworn, making it
      up as they go along, with the knowledge that
      out of 320 million people there might be
      10 that will take the time to look it up.

  • Citizen Patrol Unit
    Posted at 08:46h, 08 November

    Our Illinois State Police is just as corrupt as our Governors, past and present. Duh. To expect justice to be served in a corrupt state like Illinois or in general in any state in our union is a fantasy in your own mind. All police officers protect and serve all other police officers, if they must choose between protecting and serving We the People or themselves. Double duh! Your only productive option is public exposure of this scandal, and hoping it forces political change in Illinois in the future. Otherwise this is all just mental masturbation at best, and your frustration concerning it at worse. Get more informed so you can make informed decisions.

    Please vote today!

    I voted for Dennis Malak for our new 110th State Representative in Illinois, because I trust him and have access to him anytime I want to help me, I did NOT Reginald Phillips for obvious reasons. Reggie is a crook in his many businesses in Charleston and Florida and in his political life in our District. He lives in Bradenton Florida in a plush condo as a full-time resident NOT in Charleston Illinois, therefore he is NOT eligible to even be our 110th State Representative on the ballot, but this is Illinois where it’s not only possible it’s encouraged by the people who control our state, and it’s not the Republican or Democratic party. It’s the secret societies like the Freemasons who are controlled by the Jesuit Society who are controlled by The Crown. Wake up America, please. All this can be easily verified if you need evidence to believe it. Google it…lol.