Chicago Police Supt. Matt Rodriguez has actually maintained a near friendship through a convicted commonwealth felon--in spite of a department rule prohibiting such relationships, a visit from the FBI about his friend and also an inner Affairs Divison inquiry around an abroad trip they took together.

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Rodriguez\"s partnership with frank Milito, that in 1986 pleaded guilty in U.S. Ar Court to 2 felony counts of mail fraud, shows up to it is in a direct violation the the department\"s seldom enforced ascendancy 47, i m sorry prohibits police employee from fraternizing through convicts.

Rodriguez, in one interview, acknowledged as much, saying that he would intend others in the room to re-evaluate similar relationships. Consequently, he claimed he would certainly reconsider his friendship v Milito.

\"I would mean police police officers to do adjustments in irradiate of our rules,\" Rodriguez said. \"That\"s the objective of it.\"

But he also said that, in his mind, the never thought the partnership posed a problem, although that knew of Milito\"s conviction and also remembered Milito informing him the he was doubted in link with a slaying.

\"I never looked in ~ him together a felon, as a violation of rule 47,\" claimed the superintendent, adding that he has actually been friends through Milito for some 30 years. \"I never linked Frank Milito, my friend, with Frank Milito, who convicted the a felony.\"

But for the city\"s optimal law-enforcement official, violating any kind of departmental rule--regardless that how often or vigorously it is enforced--creates an figure of impropriety and also is troubling, according to professionals in policing and criminal justice. The partnership with Milito has actually long rankled some area law-enforcement officials, despite none has been ready to talk around it publicly.

Moreover, it would certainly seem to weaken Rodriguez\"s government to make transforms in a department responding to a wide variety of credibility problems--from corruption to brutality. Rodriguez, after ~ a corruption scandal in the Austin District, earlier this year ordered his police officers not to associate v gang members, also if the gang members go not have felony records.

\"There\"s a saying that a police officer is top top duty 24 hours a day,\" claimed John F. Doherty, a retirement detective who currently teaches criminal justice in ~ Marist university in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. \"To be out through a known felon, the sets a poor example--not only to your policemans but additionally for the public.\"

The inquiry of friendship, and what it says about a windy official, has been a specifically sensitive one in current weeks in Chicago, as market Richard Daley struggled to describe his relationship to contractor Michael Tadin and also the City Council together a whole has come under fix up scrutiny because that favoritism.

But though Daley has distanced self from details friends, the superintendent hasn\"t tried to hide his friendship with Milito. The two have traveled together, and also Rodriguez frequents Milito\"s restaurant in the Old city neighborhood, Orso\"s, where his photographs space prominently shown near the former door.

In one photo, Rodriguez writes: \"Frank--you have bridged that gap between a friend and also a brother. Matt.\"

Attempts to reach Milito, 58, in ~ his home and his miscellaneous businesses were unsuccessful.

Virtually every police departments have rules against socializing with convicted felons and people found guilty of misdemeanors. Most of them, according to experts, day to the barred era, once corruption to be widespread and mob figures often put officers on the take.

The Chicago Police Department\"s ascendancy 47 is component of its general Orders and also is aimed at staying clear of the figure of impropriety as well as at staying clear of felons indigenous unduly influencing or compromising officers.

Rule 47, follow to a room handbook, forbids \"associating or fraternizing with any kind of person known to have actually been judge of any felony or misdemeanor, one of two people state or federal, excluding traffic and municipal ordinance violations.\"

It is rarely, if ever, enforced.

Aaron Rosenthal, one assistant professor at john Jay university of Criminal Law and a retirement chief in the brand-new York City Police Department, claimed that a connection such as Rodriguez\"s v Milito poses problems. How deserve to Rodriguez self-control officers for minor infractions like accepting a totally free lunch, Rosenthal asked, as soon as he is vacationing v a convicted felon?

But Rosenthal said such rules room usually therefore vague and daunting to enforce the they are basically meaningless.

\"It\"s one of those `military guys can\"t carry umbrella\" rules,\" Rosenthal said. \"It looks an excellent on paper, however it simply doesn\"t work.\"

Rodriguez was plainly anguished together he speak of the friendship in one interview. Yet he stated it had never occurred to him that there to be anything wrong through it, dominance 47 notwithstanding.

\"Whether that way I should stop having actually lunch through him. . . .\" that added, without finishing, his voice rolling off.

Rodriguez also said Milito had actually told him he had actually been questioned around the unsolved 1987 slaying the Amoco Oil Co. Executive, management Charles E. Merriam, that was gunned down in the foyer that his prospect Heights home.

No one has been charged, and also the examination remains active, authorities said.

Kenneth Merriam, the victim\"s 35-year-old son, stated he spoke with investigators as freshly as two weeks earlier and was told that Milito and also two others still room under police scrutiny in the case. The doubt motive for the slaying, Merriam said he to be told through investigators, is a problem over just how Amoco would certainly run its organization stations. Milito owned several Amoco train station on Chicago\"s phibìc Side.

Rodriguez has had other occasions to concern his connection with Milito. He said an FBI agent checked out his office in ~ police headquarters and discussed Milito as component of an investigation, though he would not elaborate.

In addition, police interior Affairs investigators examined a 1993 expedition to Israel that Rodriguez and Milito made after Milito, who owns a travel agency, winner the expedition as part of a take trip convention giveaway, follow to sources acquainted with the inquiry.

The inquiry was triggered by a bizarre windy accusation in ~ a conference of the Chicago Police Board that Rodriguez had some affiliation with the Mossad, the Israeli knowledge agency.

The inner Affairs inquiry to be closed \"not sustained,\" meaning there was no evidence of wrongdoing, sources said. The city ethics Board also found nothing wrong.

Milito, who lives in Old Town, pleaded guilty in November 1986 to two counts of letter fraud and also one count of failing come pay income taxes. He spent nine month in jail and also paid $250,000 in restitution.

He likewise resigned a project as one inspector v the City Council\"s Committee top top Traffic and also Public Safety and also his part-time deputy sheriff\"s place with the county.

Prosecutors alleged in a 15-count indictment the Milito failed to report the sale of nearly 6 million gallons that gasoline, failing come pay almost $300,000 in taxes.

\"From my understanding, he\"s make restitution,\" claimed Rodriguez. \"He always talks around getting some kind of pardon.\"

Milito has a hand in several service ventures. According to state incorporation records, he currently operates Orso\"s on phibìc Wells Street, a pair that gas station in Lincoln Park and also a Fullerton Parkway take trip agency.

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Milito\"s auto Wash, in ~ 1106 W. Fullerton Ave., is just one of 17 carwashes with city contracts to to wash police patrol cars, according to police documents. The contracts to be competitively bid, follow to city officials.