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Ex-Tinley Cop Pleads Guilty to Drunken Hit-And-Run in Government Vehicle

John Leonard, 38, appeared in front of a Will County judge Wednesday on charges of leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty and is scheduled to return to court April 20.

A Tinley Park police officer who resigned in May pleaded guilty Wednesday to a drunken hit-and-run crash in an unmarked police squad car.

The Chicago Tribune reports that John Leonard, 38, entered a blind plea to the felony charges, which include driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident involving personal injury. He was also cited for failing to reduce speed and illegal transportation of alcohol. He faces up to 7 years in prison, but is eligible for probation, officials told the Tribune.

Charges stem from a crash on in Frankfort in which Leonard—driving a police department Ford Explorer—ran into another vehicle, . A passenger in the other car was not severely injured but was taken to the hospital.

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Leonard reportedly sped off after the accident and was picked up in New Lenox, where police said he had a spilled a glass of beer in the back seat and was sitting with a pistol between his legs. 

When asked about the gun, Leonard is said to have replied, "So what? I'm a Tinley cop."

He was immediately . 

Leonard refused a Breathalyzer test at and was taken to Silver Cross Hospital for blood and urine samples, reports said. His blood alcohol content registered at a .19, reports the Chicago Tribune, which is more than twice the legal limit.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in Will County on April 20. 

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CHeryl Keyes March 30, 2012 at 01:34 PM
What? no booking photo? So, why did they arrest him? I thought he was a cop, too. Usually they'd sweep it under the rug or promote him.
Lynn Conrad March 31, 2012 at 03:16 PM
.08 is the legal limit. how is .019 more than double .08?
Michael Sewall (Editor) March 31, 2012 at 04:55 PM
@Lynn the Tribune reported .19 percent, not .019. Thank you for pointing that out; it's now fixed in the article.
Mia March 31, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I knew this cop when I lived in Tinley and he was a complete jerk. I see some things never change.
John M. April 01, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I am the same age as this cop and knew him from town. Yep, some things never change. A tiger does not change it's stripes. I just think he and his family never thought their superiority complex would catch up and come back to bite them. Well, if they have not learned by now, they never will.
Special K April 02, 2012 at 04:27 PM
What a JERK!! He knows what he did was stupid, and now it will affect him for the rest of his life. He had better change careers, I do NOT want to see this man serving as a police officer EVER again. John Leonard, move out of town. There is no room for you here.
Connor in Tinley April 03, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Wow. Leonard and family may not like this scene or all the backlash. They better just thank their lucky stars that John did not kill anyone - adult or child. Someone could have very easily been killed here.
Gary April 04, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Missed the original story back in 2011 and just learned about this now. What a jerk. What an attitude. I am with Special K and think Leonard should move out of Tinley.

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