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Chicago cop promoted despite misconduct lawsuit, investigation

CHICAGO — Sex in the parking lot of the 14th District police station. Inappropriate sexual acts in squad cars. Married police officers having affairs with colleagues on the job.

Those are just some of the allegations hurled at Chicago Police Lt. Gerald Breimon in a pending lawsuit.

Despite the accusations, Breimon in May was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant after passing a promotion exam. His new job came with a raise to a $124,000 annual salary.

Former colleague and paramour Kelly Hespe in 2013 filed a lawsuit against Breimon and the city of Chicago. She said Breimon harassed her at work after the pair broke up. Breimon also threatened to ruin Hespe's career if she stopped having sex with him, she claimed.

"I wish I had him arrested," Hespe said. "I was terrified of him.”

Ultimately, Hespe said, it was pointless to report Breimon's behavior: "No one would believe my word over his.”

Breimon said his relationship with Hespe was consensual and that he was not her supervisor. He also alleged Hespe had numerous sexual relationships with other co-workers.

Hespe's lawsuit was not the first time Breimon's conduct had been questioned. In 2003, he was accused of fondling a woman he pulled over during a traffic stop.

"He went up one side of my leg, then down the other," Janell Reidl said. "Up my shirt ...lifted my skirt front and back as he took pictures."

As a result of the case, Breimon was stripped of his police powers for five years. But when the city paid a settlement to his accuser, and prosecutors dropped the criminal charges, he got to go back on the job. The Chicago Police Department's internal affairs division wanted Breimon fired.

Fast forward to May of this year: Breimon was promoted off the civil service list after passing a test.

But earlier this month, he was suspended again. Police won't say why he was promoted of why he was suspended just three months later.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement Friday: "There is absolutely no place within the Chicago Police Department for harassment or discrimination of any kind. Given that there is pending civil litigation as well as an active appeal of the disciplinary actions levied by CPD against Lt. Breimon, we are not able to comment on specifics until those proceedings are adjudicated."

An investigation is ongoing.

Police sources said Breimon was relieved of police powers.

The sexual harassment civil suit against Breimon is set for trial in January.