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Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007 01:02 pm

Relieved of duty

ISP agent finds herself in the hot seat again

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Special Agent Cynthia Robbins
Untitled Document An Illinois State Police agent who narrowly avoided indictment in 2005 has been relieved of duty and is currently under investigation in a tangentially related criminal matter, Illinois Times has learned.      According to an e-mail sent throughout the agency by ISP Director Larry Trent, Special Agent Cynthia Robbins was placed on leave indefinitely beginning July 31. “During this period of time, [she] may not exercise police authority nor be granted access to departmental facilities or records,” Trent wrote. ISPLt. Scott Compton confirmed that Robbins is on paid leave, but declined to comment further, citing the “ongoing investigation.”
     In 2005, Robbins and three other ISP employees had been scheduled to appear before a Logan County grand jury to face allegations that they had violated the Miranda rights of Louis Russo, charged with killing his infant daughter. The grand jury was cancelled at the last minute after Robbins and Sgt. Rebecca Dewitt-Early made a deal to accept administrative discipline from ISP instead. Russo later pleaded guilty.      Robbins’ current troubles stem from romantic jealousy of ISP Lt. Carlo Jiannoni and her interactions with the woman he is now dating, sources say. In 2005, Jiannoni was also facing a date with the grand jury, because he was Robbins’ supervisor and had assigned her the Russo case in an attempt to advance her career. Jiannoni is out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
    Robbins remains on ISP’s payroll, indicating that the investigation may be serious. Unpaid leave is usually handed out as punishment for violations of departmental policy — it’s the final word on an incident. Paid leave, on the other hand, preserves the agency’s right to summon an employee for any reason, including an administrative interview.     At the time she was placed on leave, Robbins was assigned to the Division of Internal Investigation, or DII — the division that disciplines ISP officers.

Contact Dusty Rhodes at drhodes@illinoistimes.com
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