Deetjen Drives Village Vehicle Into Palos Park Ditch

The village manager ended up in a ditch last Thursday and Trustee Bob Streit makes a late-night appearance at the Palos Park police station.

The said Crown Vic that the Oak Lawn village manager admitted to driving into a Palos Park ditch. The plates matched up with the police report. We'll check out the VIN later today to make sure the vehicles weren't switched.
The said Crown Vic that the Oak Lawn village manager admitted to driving into a Palos Park ditch. The plates matched up with the police report. We'll check out the VIN later today to make sure the vehicles weren't switched.

Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen was involved in a minor traffic accident last week when he drove a village-owned Crown Victoria Ford into a ditch in Palos Park.

According to a Palos Park police report, an officer discovered an unmarked car with municipal plates in a ditch in front of Standard Bank at 11901 Rt. 7 (also known as Southwest Highway), around 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12.

The officer ran the plate and the registered owner came back as the Village of Oak Lawn. No driver or passengers were on the scene.

Police spoke to a teen who was standing by the stranded 2000 Crown Vic. While the teen did not actually witness the accident, he did report that a man wearing an older Navy pea coat, later identified as Deetjen, exited from the driver’s side. A well-dressed female carrying flowers emerged from the passenger side of the car.

The teen asked “if they were okay” and Deetjen responded that they were and he would call for a tow, the report said. Deetjen and the woman then walked northbound on Rt. 7 toward Rt. 83.

The police officer checked a CVS store and the area along Rt. 83 for anyone on foot to no avail. The officer then checked Palos Community Hospital ER and the area along 80th Avenue for the man and woman. Police were unable to locate the driver or passenger.

Police said an attempt was made to contact a Standard Bank representative to review the bank’s security video to verify the driver and passenger’s well-being.

The village-owned vehicle was unoccupied and appeared to have some undercarriage damage where the bottom of the car made contact with a cement block in the ditch. The Palos Park police officer was preparing to call the police department’s towing service when a Village of Oak Lawn truck and tow truck arrived, the officer said.

According to police, two Oak Lawn public works employees, including a supervisor, said they were called to pick up the car for the village.

Palos Park police officers photographed the scene and vehicle before allowing the village tow truck to remove the car. The Crown Vic was turned over to the public works employees.

Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller confirmed with Oak Lawn that the assigned driver of the car was Deetjen, according to the police report.

The police chief spoke to the Oak Lawn village manager at 11:06 p.m. that night, who said he was on village business looking at property “related to a land/property matter in Oak Lawn,” that was “moving to the site of Rt. 83 and Rt. 7.”

Deetjen told the police chief that he was not familiar with the area at night and as he made a U- turn with the village car, he missed the driveway off of Rt. 7, the report said.

According to the report, the village manager said he walked to the CVS store with his wife, the passenger in the car, and contacted Oak Lawn Public Works to pick up the vehicle. He also called for a ride home.

'Seeking Justice'

The Palos Park police report also included an attachment stating that a man who identified himself as a trustee for the Village of Oak Lawn, came into the police station late Saturday evening looking for “copies of reports pertaining to the an accident involving a Village of Oak Lawn vehicle” last Thursday.

A police sergeant met with the individual “who identified himself as Robert Streit, Oak Lawn Village Trustee.” Streit told police he became aware of an accident involving “a person in a management position” with the village through 911-dispatchers who had contacted him, the report said.

Streit also alleged that the “Oak Lawn Police Chief reported to the scene and picked up the vehicle’s driver” and that public works towed the car from the scene.

Oak Lawn Police Chief Michael Murray told Patch that he did not drive Deetjen home. Deetjen said any accusations that he called the police chief for a ride home were false.

After inquiring how he could get copies of the reports, Streit informed police that he was receiving calls from several Oak Lawn 911 dispatchers asking him what happened and seeking “justice,” police said.

The village trustee also allegedly told police that “sometimes incidents like these can easily disappear” and “he wanted to make sure this did not happen.”

Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller told Patch that he received a call from his sergeant around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, saying that an “Oak Lawn village trustee” was demanding to see the police report from the Dec. 10 ditch incident.

Miller said he called the Oak Lawn watch commander that evening to verify Streit’s credentials. Streit was provided with Freedom of Information Act forms.

Deetjen confirmed to Patch that he drove into a ditch last Thursday while using a village vehicle, but there was no truth to the rumors floating around that he had totaled the Crown Vic.

“[I] miscalculated the curb cut and got hung up in the snow in the ice covered swale,” he said. “I called the public works night shift and got a ride home so I could deal with an overflowing kitchen sink with the building superintendent.”

The village manager said he spoke with Palos Park police after the accident so they could prepare their report. Deetjen further added that he was fully aware of Streit’s nocturnal visit to the Palos Park police department last Saturday.

Deetjen was not arrested nor was he cited with a traffic citation. The Palos Park police chief told

Patch there was no indication that alcohol was involved. It was also not uncommon for people to drive off the village’s roads, especially after dark.

“There are no streetlights in Palos Park,” Miller said. “It’s not uncommon for drivers to go into a ditch and call for their own tow.”

Miller said he reviewed the matter with the Palos Park village attorney because it involved an unmarked municipal car.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t doing anything askew,” the police chief said. “The car wasn’t involved in an accident and it was not obstructing the highway.”

It was a lot of excitement over a ditch incident for Palos Park, a village whose council meetings are generally pleasant affairs.

“What’s going on in Oak Lawn,” Miller asked. “I’ve seen the videos online.”

john artis December 19, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Were you there EOM?? Just because you hope it happened doesn't mean it did. Go back to your fake stories and speeches for your Buddy Streit
My-Acts Of-Sedition December 20, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Just so everyone knows. When Oak Lawn vetted Deetjen, they called and spoke with Commissioner Sylvia Poitier. Like Deetjen's other buddy Al Capellini, Poitier was arrested and removed from office for public corruption. Both of them yanked due to my investigative efforts and complaints. So trust me when I tell you, I can smell a crook, a rat, a fink.
Honestly IPO December 20, 2013 at 11:15 AM
How can the 911 transcript from Palos Park be verified? Why if there were 2 witnesses only one was listed on police report? Where is transcript of first 911 call? Why can't any of the employee's at CVS verify Deetjen was there? Why would anyone make a u turn when in a couple of car lengths there is a traffic light? I grew up there and the corner already has a large chiropractic office? Didn't Hielmann hire Deetjen? I'm so confused.......
Honestly IPO December 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Why was u turn said to be illegal? There is NOT signage stating you can't?
OakLawnGuy December 20, 2013 at 11:53 AM
O, when Mr Deetjen was hired the Board knew of some of his history. They believed his contention that the various allegations were political in nature, which makes one scratch one's head when you see that they airport incident had nothing to do with politics and that he was suspended without pay for a period of time. My Acts brings up the fact that the Village vetted Mr Deetjen with a political crony of his in FLA. The entire Board voted to hire him, unanimously, some have said because they were desperate to get a "professional" manager in place. On that, they missed.
OakLawnGuy December 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Illinois' u turn law reads "The driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic". I doubt Mr Deetjen ran into much traffic, but that's the slightest of missteps in this episode.
Ernest T Bass December 20, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Just Sayin; but it's my understanding that Dennis Brennen has admitted to being a closet cross-dresser. Someone please tell me, what gives him the right to pretend he's a newspaper editor?
MD December 20, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Were they roses, I hope they survived the trek in the cold
Ernest T Bass December 20, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Wow, Dennis Brennen {a.k.a EOMessage} you are an absolute ignorant individual. Of all people calling the mayor a slob, of all the people I know YOU HAVE NO Room to talk about anyone being a slob, you are the definition of a slob. Have you ever bothered to look in the mirror Dennis? I mean EOMessage
MD December 20, 2013 at 04:21 PM
That's the Christmas spirit ! Merry Christmas Oak Lawn
Honestly IPO December 20, 2013 at 04:50 PM
@OLG Thanks taking a serious moment to answer my inquiry. There is alot more I need to know before deciding for myself what I believe happened. Calling the mayor a slob is high school, as is the cross dressing comment. As a spouse I would feel horrible if I found out my other half was out and about with someone else. I hope it was Mrs. Deetjen.
RALPH MALPH December 20, 2013 at 05:07 PM
All the so called leaders of oak lawn are really making this town look like a joke with all of their comments and actions . Think about it .
EOMessage December 20, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Bury never thought twice about calling Dave a crook. Her looks are up for grabs.
john artis December 20, 2013 at 10:06 PM
EOM/Dennis/Whatever your name is Just because you say something is fact doesn't mean it's so. You certainly would like to see a scandal since you hate this administration and would do and say anything to promote your take on things. Keep clicking your heels Dorthy and wishing you were back in Kansas
Rambo December 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Artis... keep putting your head in the sand... plain and simple... deetjen was hammered... he was driving and he got away with it. He's a bad guy and needs to be removed from his position. You can twist it anyway you want...
john artis December 20, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Rambo how's Col. Trautman?? You see what you want to see through biased eyes. None of us were there period conspiracies don't make it true or real. It really doesn't matter what any of us say because nothing is going to happen despite your best efforts
Rambo December 20, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Blah blah blah Ray Charles ... no one believes your bs opinion.
Joe Kocur December 20, 2013 at 10:42 PM
John- I believe col. Trautman kicked it- pushing daisies , dirt nap, joined the 6 ft and under club. You pick one
Rambo December 20, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Go get your Larry Deetjen shinebox! Dirt nap .... weak ... you guys are simple.
Rambo December 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Mouth breathers and Larry Deetjen unite! "They'll believe us..They'll believe us..They'll believe us..They'll believe us..." hahaha
Joe Kocur December 20, 2013 at 11:03 PM
If your not hammered you stay with vehicle and call for help. If your loaded you leave the scene so the driver can't be identified as driver. Period.
Rambo December 20, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Joe...maybe a misunderstanding... I agree w you!
RALPH MALPH December 21, 2013 at 12:09 AM
I know I would . No matter what car I was in
Billy Bulldozer December 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Larry Deetjen is a tool, and not one of those good tools that are kept near the top of your toolbox but he's all the way at the bottom where the tools get rusty and unusable. He used to prance around Bally Total Fitness on 95th St. in his cute little running shorts and he would really throw those 30 pound dumbells around. By the way, Larry gym etiqette would be to put them away and not leave them on the floor while you're walking away. This was the same Bally's where he tried getting a "free" membership by telling the manager just WHO he was. Where's Larry working out these days? Cruising there in his village car. He was under the influence at the time of this accident; that's why he didn't stick around or use his village provided cell phone because the signal could be traced. He got caught with his "hand" in the cookie jar and he is still around draining the village coffers to the tune of more than $150,000.00 a year.
Rambo December 22, 2013 at 12:06 AM
The law doesn't apply to lord Larry .... he's above the law.. he makes the rules.. he doesn't have to live by them!
sam spade January 02, 2014 at 02:34 PM
Why was Larry Deetjen looking at a property at 9:30 at night in the snow with "his wife". The police chief spoke to the Oak Lawn village manager at 11:06 p.m. that night, who said he was on village business looking at property “related to a land/property matter in Oak Lawn,” that was “moving to the site of Rt. 83 and Rt. 7.” where was Deetjen for 2 hours sounds like sober up time
Michelle t January 04, 2014 at 12:08 AM
Good point Sam. 9PM in December offers little daylight to look at property. Most people would look at property in daylight.....
Gameth January 05, 2014 at 03:25 PM
If he was there he was spying to see if ive done anything there. There is absolutely no reason for him to be looking at property ive signed intent for. He continues to refuse putting anything in writing and now they are trying to harass us into moving out of our location on 110th and cicero.
Billy Bulldozer January 22, 2014 at 08:43 AM
It appears that Madam Mayor Bury and her "complete transparency" along with Mr. Deetjen and a few others are trying to somehow "Bury" this and hope it just goes away. The mayor apparently doesn't think the residents of Oak Lawn deserve answers to the: who; what; when; where, why, and how questions that are still being asked?
john artis January 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM
J... Meds, Meds,Meds a mind even a crazy one is a terrible thing to waste!!


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