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People v. Bouse





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon KENNETH WENDT, Judge, presiding.


Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted of one count of attempt bribery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 33-1), and one count of official misconduct (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 33-3) and sentenced to four years probation. He was acquitted on conspiracy to commit bribery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 8-2.) Prior to the trial, a preliminary hearing was conducted to determine whether there was probable cause that the defendant had committed the offenses of bribery and official misconduct. After hearing evidence, the court entered a finding of no probable cause and discharged defendant as to both charges. Immediately after the preliminary hearing discharge, defendant was indicted with co-defendant, Vincent Gaiz for conspiracy to commit bribery, attempt bribery and official misconduct. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, pars. 8-2, 8-4, 33-1 and 33-3.

On appeal he contends that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, (2) he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, (3) the finding of no probable cause in the preliminary hearing should have negated the trial court's later finding of guilty on two counts of the indictment. At trial, defendant's attorney entered into a stipulation with the Assistant State's Attorney that the only evidence which would be submitted before the court would be the reports of the proceedings taken at the grand jury hearing and at the defendant's preliminary hearing.

We affirm. The pertinent evidence follows:

Reynaldo Rueda testified for the State. On the morning of May 13, 1974, at approximately 11:30 a.m., he was a tow truck driver for the MLA Towing Company, and was driving northbound on Western Avenue when he was stopped by Officer Vincent Gaiz of the Chicago Police Department. The truck he was driving did not have a proper city vehicle sticker. Officer Gaiz asked him for his driver's license and he told him that he did not have his driver's license with him. Officer Gaiz told him it would cost him $50 for driving without a license. He replied that he had no money of his own on him. Officer Gaiz told him to call his employer, Robert Perry. He then called his employer and the secretary answered the phone. He told her he had been stopped by the police. Officer Gaiz took the telephone receiver from him and talked to the secretary. Rueda didn't hear the conversation. After Officer Gaiz hung up the phone, he asked Rueda for his employer's name, address and telephone number. Rueda wrote the information down for the officer. Officer Gaiz told him that he would get in touch with his boss later on that afternoon and that he was going to let him go at that time. Rueda left and went on his business.

Rueda also testified that at about 2:30 in the afternoon he stopped at his office and his boss was present. He had a conversation with his boss and then remained around the office. He was there when the defendant came into the office at about 4:30 in the afternoon. He got up and left the room when defendant arrived. He received no citations for traffic violations from Officer Gaiz or any other officer.

Robert K. Perry testified for the State. He owned the MLA Towing Company. On May 13, 1974, at approximately 12 o'clock he received a call from his secretary. His secretary stated on the phone that a Chicago Police officer was calling from 22nd and Western Avenue relative to a company tow truck being stopped for two traffic violations. About 3:30 that same afternoon he received a telephone call from an individual who identified himself as "Frank" and who stated that he was the officer from 22nd and Western and would like to come up to the office and talk about the situation. During that conversation, "Frank" asked him if he "had enough for two," and stated that he would be around the office about 4:30 that afternoon.

Shortly thereafter, Perry placed a call to the Internal Affairs Division of the Chicago Police Department. Sergeants Major, Holmes and Hart of the Internal Affairs Division arrived at his office about 3:50 in the afternoon. He advised them of the incident. Two $10 bills were given to him by the Internal Affairs Division officers. The officers recorded the serial numbers of the bills and dusted them with infra-red powder that would show up fingerprints if the bills were touched. Perry placed these two $10 bills in his wallet on top of three single dollar bills. The three single dollar bills had been inventoried by the officers as part of his property. About 4:30 in the afternoon an individual dressed in blue shirt and dark blue jacket, who represented himself as "Frank Bliss," appeared at his office. This person was later identified to him by the Chicago Police Department as the defendant, Officer Joseph W. Bouse. Perry recognized the voice of the defendant as the voice of the caller he had talked to on the telephone earlier. Defendant reminded Perry that his driver could have gone to jail for driving a vehicle without a license. He replied that perhaps his driver should have been sent to jail if he was wrong; at this point, defendant asked him, "What do you think it's worth?" He responded that he didn't understand what was meant by that statement. Defendant then said, "Well, 2 bits." Perry asked the defendant what was meant by the term "2 bits" and defendant replied, "twenty-five dollars." Perry stood up and opened his wallet and indicated that he didn't have $25. He asked his secretary if she had any additional money. His secretary replied that all she had were $10 bills. He walked over to her desk and defendant walked with him and said "Well, I've got change, I'll make change for you." She gave Perry a $5 bill and he handed the defendant the two $10 bills from his wallet and one $5 bill. They were the same two $10 bills given to Perry by the Internal Affairs Division officers.

Perry further testified that the defendant asked him if he had a business card and remarked that it was nice doing business with him. Defendant then left the office and was stopped by the Internal Affairs Division officers and placed under arrest. He was asked if he had any money in his possession. He brought out currency, two bills of which corresponded to the officers' prerecorded list of the money they had given to Perry. The officers recopied the serial numbers and advised defendant of his constitutional rights.

On cross-examination at the preliminary hearing, Perry testified that when the defendant arrived at the office he overheard the conversation between defendant and his secretary and the defendant stated that he was "there to see Mr. Perry." Perry acknowledged that the defendant appeared friendly and didn't threaten him in any way.

Myra P. Nikopoulous, secretary to Robert Perry, testified for the State. On the morning of May 13, 1974, she received a phone call from Reynaldo Rueda who told her that he was stopped by the police because he had no city sticker on the truck, that he didn't have his driver's license on him and that one of the police officers wanted to talk to her. Another person got on the phone and told her that he was one of the policemen who stopped the tow truck driver and he wanted to know what kind of boss she had. She told him that the boss was nice and asked if they were going to take Rueda to jail. He asked whether it would be appreciated if he let Rueda go. She replied in the affirmative. Later that day, she received another phone call. The person identified himself as the officer who had previously stopped the company tow truck. Subsequent to that, she received another phone call and the person talked to Perry, her employer. At approximately 4:30 that afternoon she was in the office with Perry when an individual entered who identified himself as "Frank." This person went over to her employer's desk and told her boss that he was the police officer who had talked to him on the phone and he asked for $25. She heard her employer reply that all he had was ten and he came over to her desk and asked for change, but she only had tens in her petty cash drawer. She told her employer she would get change, but the police officer said he would change the ten and he proceeded to make change. After the police officer received the money, he asked her boss for some business cards so that "he could throw some business his way," and he started to leave. Immediately thereafter, she saw one of the police officers walk in from the outside, and two men from the back room came out.

Sergeant Everett J. Major testified for the State. He is assigned to the Internal Affairs Division of the Chicago Police Department. At about 3:10 in the afternoon of May 13, 1974, he received an assignment in which the allegation was that Robert Perry had telephoned and stated that a police officer was to arrive at his place of business to receive money for letting one of his drivers go. When he arrived at Perry's office he handed Perry $20 in currency. Before giving him the money, he prerecorded the serial numbers of the bills and had him acknowledge receipt of the money. Then he advised him to check his billfold and permitted him to retain three $1 bills that were in his wallet. Further, he instructed him to let any mention of money come from the police officer. A person arrived at the office and as that person was leaving the office, he apprehended him. The person apprehended was the defendant.

Sergeant Major further testified that he announced his office, informed the defendant that he was under arrest, and read him his constitutional rights. Then he asked for the money. Defendant reached into his left-hand pocket and brought out three $10 bills. Two of the $10 bills corresponded with the list of prerecorded money that had been given to Perry. During this time, defendant made no statement. The following day he conducted a showup, and tow truck driver Rueda identified Officer Vincent Gaiz as the officer who stopped him for the traffic violation. ...

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