LAKEMOOR, Ill. — Once hailed a hero, a former northwest suburban Lakemoor police officer alleges wrongful termination, claiming the department terminated her for having post-traumatic stress disorder.
Attorney Dan Herbert represents 31-year-old Brianna Tedesco, who won local and national recognition in 2018 after a deadly Lakemoor traffic stop. With her body camera rolling, Tedesco demanded identification from the pulled-over motorist, who was found asleep in his car on a remote gravel road.
The driver, later identified as Kenneth Martell, was wanted for murder in Pennsylvania.
Bodycam video shows Martell pulling out a gun and startling Tedesco before the two engage in a struggle over control of the firearm. Eventually, backup department officers arrive and the fugitive is shot dead in an act later justified by investigators.
“I had a lot of flashbacks and nightmares and replaying the event,” Tedesco said.
Tedesco says doctors urged her to seek accommodations from Lakemoor Police Chief David Godlewski, who is named in the lawsuit. Temporary measures included restricting Tedesco to shorter daytime patrols while undergoing treatment for PTSD. Tedesco also expressed concerns over working the night shift alone without a partner.
Lakemoor Police Department officials argued that she could no longer perform the on-the-job requirements.
“They terminated her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and they terminated her for an unlawful reason,” Herbert said.
The lawsuit claims that Tedesco’s fellow officers gave her a hard time, allegedly unhappy about having to work overtime to make up for her absence.
“Making ignorant comments to me, such as, ‘pull your big girl panties back up and get back on the street,'” she said.
WGN News reached out to Lakemoor police and Village administrators for a response. In a written statement, spokespeople said they are “prohibited from commenting on pending litigation.”