OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- Densey Cole, like both his parents, became a Chicago police officer to protect and serve. But after a catastrophic injury on the job, he now feels like the city is turning its back on him.
It was May 2009 when Cole, a 16 year vet of the Chicago Police Department, was paralyzed in a car crash. When he was in the hospital in a coma, his mother says city Alderman Ed Burke visited and made her a promise.
“It was very reassuring how he spoke to us,” Cole’s mother Louise said. “(He) said not to worry that he took good care of Jim Mullen (an officer shot in 1996) and built him a home and for me not to worry that he would take good care of him.”
Rather than retrofit Cole's former home, or build him a new one, the city moved him to an Oakbrook Terrace apartment and pay his rent.
And now it has come to light the utilities have not been paid and $20,000 is owed.
The city says The Committee on Finance has routinely paid Cole's rent six months in advance and remains current in those payments while he seeks a permanent home. “The non-paid bills in question relate solely to unpaid utility bills which the committee has advised are his responsibility.”
This lease from March 2010 shows the city of Chicago as the lessee and responsible for rent, furnishings and utilities.
Cole and his mother have tried to get answers from the city with no luck.
“My last conversation with Chairman Burke was when he told me not to call and bother him again,” Louise said. “That was truly disheartening … because that was a person that a held in high regard and I had great faith that he was a man of his word.”
The city also said today “Since 2009, the finance committee has paid more than $5.8 million for medical care resulting from this devastating injury. We have great respect and sympathy for him (Cole) and we have consistently acted to remain very flexible in numerous instances given the circumstances of his case.”
Cole has an eviction hearing in DuPage County Court on July 8th.
He is being represented by an attorney with the Fraternal Order of Police who has told him she hopes to get a continuance so he’s not out on the street next week.