Head of Illinois police training agency fired for allegedly granting law enforcement certifications improperly

An official in charge of training police across Illinois was fired in September on the recommendation of the state’s top government watchdog, who found he improperly granted a law enforcement certification to philanthropist Howard Buffett after Buffett had donated millions of dollars to support the training agency’s efforts.

The state’s executive inspector general’s office found that Brent Fischer, executive director of the state’s Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, granted the certification to Howard Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, even though Buffett didn’t have the qualifications to be a part-time law enforcement officer, according to the IG’s report released Wednesday.

A Decatur business executive, Howard Buffett, 66, served as the appointed sheriff of Macon County in central Illinois for a little over a year until November 2018. This spring, he announced he’d run for the job, but ended his campaign shortly afterward, citing changing qualifications written into sweeping criminal justice reforms that were signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this year.

In a 30-page report, which identifies Buffett only as “Individual 1,” the inspector general’s office concluded that Fischer granted Buffett a certification despite knowing he didn’t meet the state-mandated qualifications. Fisher also inappropriately issued Buffett a waiver to skirt the normal process, the IG found.

“Certification of law enforcement officer status, especially considering the significant public interest in maintaining integrity in that process, should not be minimized nor should it be provided based on someone’s ability to financially contribute, regardless of how great that assistance is, to the law enforcement community,” the report stated [Chicago Tribune].



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