Bolingbrook Police Chief Goes 'On the Record'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," November 5, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Eight days, still on Stacy Peterson. The 23-year-old police sergeant's wife vanished without a trace in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Now the focus is on Sergeant Drew Peterson. His third wife died bizarrely in a bathtub. Tonight, you will see never- before-seen documents that detail Sergeant Peterson's tumultuous marriage to his third wife. You will see a side of Sergeant Peterson that you have never seen before.

But first: Sergeant Peterson has been working for the Bolingbrook Police Department for 29 years. We just spoke to Bolingbrook police chief Raymond McGury.


VAN SUSTEREN: Chief, I know that out of an abundance of caution, you have sent this investigation of missing Stacy Peterson over to the state troopers, rather than keeping it in your police force. Why is that, sir?

CHIEF RAYMOND MCGURY, BOLINGBROOK POLICE: Well, initially, when Stacy was reported missing, my first inclination was to start the investigation immediately, but I wanted to consult with the family. And I called in Stacy's sister, Cassandra, as well as her father, Anthony, to meet with them on Monday morning. And they made it pretty clear to me that they would be more comfortable having an outside agency, such as the Illinois State Police, investigate this incident. And as I have stated, you know, before, in fact, to your producer, that was a tough pill for me to swallow, I'll be very honest with you. But it's the right thing to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: I spoke to the state's attorney's office. I know that they're looking into the death of his wife number three. Now, just so that I'm clear, wife number three died in March of 2004. This was not when you were the chief of police there. Is that correct, sir?

MCGURY: That's correct. I was with another jurisdiction at the time as a captain. And I had the opportunity to come as the chief of police here in Bolingbrook back in August of 2005. But I want to preface by saying while that could be used as an excuse, I don't want to use that as an excuse, Greta, I'll be very honest with you. I accept responsibility to get questions answered on this case. And that's why I wanted to come on tonight.

And I'll be honest with you, also. Many of my colleagues in the profession said that this is wrong. You know, You shouldn't be going on. But I'm very comfortable speaking with you, and I just want to get the message out from the Bolingbrook Police Department that we're going to do everything we can physically possible, whatever's asked of us by the Will County state's attorney's office, the Illinois State Police. Whatever other jurisdiction may be brought into this case, they have my guarantee of 100 percent cooperation.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let's assume — and this is maybe unfair, but let's assume that you were the chief of police back in March of 2004 and that let's make a second assumption that you saw the autopsy report. Would it have piqued your interest that perhaps this could be more than an accident of wife number three in the bathtub?

MCGURY: Well, I've been doing this now almost 27 years. And I'll kind of use one of your quotes that you used on Friday, as I was watching your show, is that you're just an attorney and what do you know? And I'm just a police officer of 27 years, and what do I know?

But having reviewed the autopsy report, as a police officer — not as a professional doctor, not as a pathologist, not as a coroner — yes, it has piqued my interest. And I would concur with you, Dr. Baden and your viewers, that there's some questions in this that need to be answered. And there may be very logical answers. But as a police officer, as a police chief, as a former investigator that's investigated these types of crimes, yes, I'm somewhat — I don't want to say concerned, but I'd like to get some answers.

And that's why I'm pleased that the state's attorney, Jim Glasgow (ph) of Will County, has reopened this case. And it's ironic, I just spoke with Jim a few minutes ago and turned over a bunch of materials that your producer was very kind enough to give to us and hand those directly to Jim. So Jim has got a full file of information out to add into this investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Because of the size of your department, do you happen to know Sergeant Peterson, or is it too big a department?

MCGURY: No, no. I know Sergeant Peterson.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know what his record is within your department? What can you disclose and what — you know, what are you not inhibited by privacy considerations he might have? I don't know if there are any.

MCGURY: Well, I can tell that you Sergeant Peterson has been a police officer with us for 29 years. When I arrived here in 2005, he was a sergeant assigned to the patrol division. That's his assignment currently today. He's an officer in good standing, meaning, just like other officers, you know, he's a police officer employed by the village of Bolingbrook.

I know that Sergeant Peterson has discussed a recent discipline that he got. And I can't go into specifics. I can tell you that I disciplined him for a policy violation back in September that has absolutely nothing to do with any type of allegations of domestic violence, domestic abuse. It is totally a policy violation. And as a supervisor, I hold supervisors to a higher standard, so he was given discipline based upon an error in judgment.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, obviously, that's an important one because you thought it was important enough to discipline him. Some of the rest of us, if it's just policy, might not see that quite as important as if there were one, for instance, of excessive force or domestic violence, anything like that. Is there anything in his record like that that you can tell us about, or can you tell us that it doesn't exist in his record?

MCGURY: To my knowledge, as I sit here today and speak to you, there's nothing in his record to my knowledge that indicate any type of domestic violence, excessive use of force. None of that exists. You know, again, I can't get into much detail, but I can tell you that with much certainty that none of that exists.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, there was something public. At least, it's being reported in the press back in the 1980s that he lost his job for a while. Are you able to talk about that, sir?

MCGURY: I am. I believe in 1985, he was fired by the police and fire commission. Shortly thereafter, a Will County judge reinstated him based upon, I believe — and again, I'm not positive of this, but I believe it was excessive discipline and evidence or lacking thereof evidence. So he was reinstated through the court system, not by the police and fire commission.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know him to be a good officer, or is he a good officer?

MCGURY: Sergeant Peterson shows up for work, does his job and goes home. I mean, nothing more, nothing less. I mean, he fulfills his duties as a police officer here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you heard of any complaints that were ever filed by Kathleen, who was wife number three before she died, complaints directed at him?

MCGURY: There was a series of complaints. And as I was speaking with your producer, I noted 18 different reports that were placed on file beginning, I believe, somewhere in February of 2002. And the last one was somewhere like November, I believe, of 2003.

And again, if I can clarify something — and I believe if you run this by Mark Fuhrman, he would concur. Most of these domestic-type disputes, when I would be on the street — and that was a long time ago, but when I was on the street, we would show up at a house. We would, you know, restore peace, and then we would leave. And there were no reports filed. It was basically peace restored and back in service.

The chief at the time that was here in Bolingbrook made a wise decision, I believe, and said that any issues pertaining to Sergeant Peterson and Kathleen Savio are to be documented. And so that's why we have 18 separate reports. And of those 18 — I spent my weekend going through all of these meticulously — nine of those are visitation issues. You didn't drop the kids off on time. Call the police, document it, so can I use it in court. You didn't drop the kids off, or You're not giving me the kids. So 50 percent of those had to do with that type of thing. And I think you had insinuated that on one of your programs, that you know, oftentimes these things happen.

The other ones that I went through were insinuations where both of them claimed to be victims of. Battery and one of the cases — and again, I can't get into too much of this. At some point, I, hopefully, can release these to you and the media. Kathleen alleges that she was held against her will. The issue with that is it appears from reading the report that it took two weeks for her to report that to us.

VAN SUSTEREN: I just want to emphasize, you weren't chief of police there then at that time, in case people are, you know, concerned about that particular one. I just want to point that out again. And secondly, it was also contained, at least it appears to be, in a letter to the state's attorney. I don't know if that — I didn't see a signature on that letter, but it may have also been conveyed to a state's attorney, a prosecutor.

MCGURY: That's correct. And also what's critical, at least in that case, is immediately when that case was filed, the police officers on scene transferred a copy of that report immediately to the domestic violence advocate, which is called — I believe is called Ground Break (ph). And so domestic violence — a separate third party now had knowledge of this case, and that case was also faxed to the Will County state's attorney's office.

VAN SUSTEREN: Chief, I've got one last thing to say to you, or a comment, and I also want to get the tip line out. But when people say on our show or post comments on, the good old boy network, they are grossly wrong about your department. And it stinks, doesn't it, sir.

MCGURY: It does. You know, and again, this past week, the e-mails that I've gotten and the phone calls, some of which have been death threats, by the way, it's part of the job. It's part of being the chief of police. But it doesn't make it easy. And certainly, it doesn't make it easy, and certain there doesn't make it easy to walk through the halls here in Bolingbrook Police Department, look at the men and women that I think are some of the finest officers, if not the finest officers in the United States. And they watch your show and they read the papers, and they hear the same things that I do. And yet I understand. I understand. You know, I may not like it, but I understand.

And I just wanted the opportunity to at least try to address some of that stuff. And you didn't have to let me on the show tonight, but you did. And you know, thank you very much for doing that. You're welcome in Bolingbrook any time.


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