CHICAGO, IL – The Cook County State Attorney has declined to prosecute a former State Inspector for groping several female business owners in the city of Chicago.
While it may not be unusual if there was no evidence, in at least one of the cases, the act was caught on video.
Doggy Daycare Owner Appalled After Cook County State's Attorney Declines To Prosecute State Inspector Jose Guillen, Who Was Caught On Camera Groping Her https://t.co/5GAu4XkQkN pic.twitter.com/GZlbQ5yFVW
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) January 21, 2022
Jose Guillen was the only inspector for the Illinois Department of Agriculture for the Cook County area in Chicago which meant if you owned a business, you could not operate it without his approval.
This was allegedly something he loved to hang over the heads of the women business owners who’s livelihood rest in his hands.
According to the owner of Aeslin Pup Hub, a doggy daycare in Bucktown, she was the subject of two different business inspections at the hands of Guillen. Not only was her business inspected for approval to operate, but Guillen also physically inspected the owner’s body which was caught on camera.
The business owner, Leah Bindig, reported that she had been groped by Guillen to CBS News in July of 2021.
She made the report in hopes that the media would be able to bring her complaints to the forefront and hopefully protect other women business owners.
When the news of Bindig’s allegations broke, several other women business owners stepped up and filed similar complaints against Guillen.
Bindig reported her allegations to the Illinois Department of Agriculture which eventually terminated him after the media got involved.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) July 8, 2021
Bindig also took her claims and video evidence to the Chicago Police Department with the hopes of pressing criminal charges against Guillen.
While many would believe with the video evidence that she produced and the other similar accounts from other alleged victims, the case would be a slam dunk.
Six months after the criminal case against Guillen was referred to the Cook County State Attorney’s Office, Bindig was informed that they would not be pursuing any criminal charges in the case. When CBS 2’s Megan Hickey inquired why the State Attorney’s Office was not prosecuting the case, she was told they had no comment.
Bindig was extremely upset that the State Attorney’s Office refused to pursue criminal charges in her case. She said:
“So, touching my rear end wasn’t enough? Saying inappropriate comments wasn’t enough? I mean, you know, tell me, Kim Foxx [Cook County State Attorney] like, at what point, physically – how far would he had to have gone to where you say that’s inappropriate?”
CBS has tried to interview Guillen about the story, and he has refused to speak with them. However, the media outlet was able to get ahold of a video deposition he did regarding this case.
Jose Guillen, a business inspector for the state of Illinois, has been fired after being caught on security video groping the owner of a doggy daycare business. https://t.co/XoVt968AJh
— WBBM Newsradio (@WBBMNewsradio) June 12, 2021
During the deposition, Guillen was asked about touching Bindig without her consent which he disputed. He claimed that Bindig had given him some type of “nonverbal consent” to touch her. Guillen said:
“Nonverbal consent, it doesn’t exist with everybody – just in this instance.”
However, later in the same deposition, Guillen changed his account of touching Bindig and claimed that he did not intend to touch her. He said that he had lost his balance and was beginning to fall and had to touch Bindig’s buttocks to regain his balance.
From review of the store surveillance video of the incident, it does not seem likely that Guillen had lost his balance when he touches Bindig’s buttocks.
But somehow, the video evidence and the fact that Guillen changed his story on how the touching occurred was not enough to pursue criminal charges against him.
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
SURFSIDE, FL – Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett faces possible legal action after being caught on a police body camera making comments that have been deemed “inappropriate.”
The footage, presented exclusively by WSVN7 News, shows the shirtless mayor speaking with police officers and telling them he had a “crush” on one.
On the video, an officer apparently refers to the mayor’s first elected term, asking:
“You came in ’06?”
“So we’ve, we’ve gone the distance together.”
A female officer responds on camera:
“Well, I knew you before that.”
“Well, I had a crush on you.
“She’s the best looking police officer we ever had.”
This exchange occurred after the mayor phoned in noise complaints to Surfside Police, and then made apparent jokes about his own death.
Audio of three calls from Burkett to police, shown on WSVN7, is as follows:
Burkett: “It’s Charles Burkett, how are you?”
Surfside Police: “Hi.”
Burkett: “Listen, there’s somebody here on 96th and the beach, and they’re blasting this horrific music, and it’s disturbing people. Can you send someone up to 96th and the beach, please?”
Surfside Police: “Surfside Police.”
Burkett: “Hi, this is Charles Burkett again. I had called you and asked you to send an officer up here to 96th.”
Surfside Police: “Yes, yes, I have Officer Howard on her way.”
Burkett: “There’s nobody here. I’m not thrilled with the response time. If this had been an emergency, we’d be in trouble.”
Surfside Police: “Surfside Police.”
Burkett: “Yeah, this is Charles Burkett. You can cancel that call now. I’m not gonna wait anymore.”
According to WSVN7, two officers arrived at the scene moments after the last call ended.
Bodycam video on WSVN7 shows the following conversation:
Officer: “What’s the issue? What happened?”
Burkett (mimicking stabbing his neck): “I’m dead already, the knife is in my neck.”
Officer: “OK, I’m glad, I’m glad it’s not that.”
Burkett: “I’m dead now, and the mayor has died. The mayor is dead, and this is the guy that you need for something like that.”
Officer: “Where’s the music coming from?”
Burkett: “It’s, uh, it’s uh, it’s handled.”
Cop: “But was it on this side, or is it on this side?”
Burkett (smiling): “I’m not going to tell you.”
Cop: “Well, but we need to know so we can investigate.”
According to WSVN7, Burkett complained about the incident to “ranking officers,” and the female officer was instructed to write a memo “explaining herself for the 15-minute response time.”
Also according to WSVN7:
“Town sources indicate that this incident is the focus of a possible sex harassment incident.
“Those within the town government are questioning [the mayor’s] behavior during this exchange.”
The news outlet reached out to Mayor Burkett for comment, but there has reportedly been no response at this time.
Mayor Burkett also came recently under public scrutiny in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers condominium, in regards to a building he owns in Miami Beach.
According to the Miami Herald, the Miami Beach Building Department issued an “Unsafe Structures Violation” for Burkett’s Lois Apartments four years ago, after the department documented damage from Hurricane Irma.
Repairs were never made, with Burkett reportedly citing permitting issues as well as “hiring challenges during COVID-19” as the reasons for the delay.
According to WSVN7, Burkett’s building “was in such bad shape his tenants were ordered to move out.”
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