OAKBROOK, Ill., Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois State Crime Commission announced today that at the request of administrators of the Animal Welfare League (AWL), they will launch an independent investigation into past and ongoing allegations surrounding activities at the AWL's facility in Chicago Ridge, Illinois.
"We have met with administrators of the AWL's Chicago Ridge facility, inspected every area of the facility, spoken with staff and administrators, and have spoken with political officials and representatives of officials at both the local and federal level," Jerry Elsner, the Executive Director of the Crime Commission, stated. "Our initial review and interviews indicate that there is a need for an independent investigation of matters surrounding current controversy of the AWL facility and administrators. Our objective for this investigation is to bring to light the accuracy of allegations that have been made and to explore possible conflicts relevant to the motives behind those allegations."
Elsner went on to state that some disturbing aspects have surfaced surrounding ongoing efforts by a group of protestors and political figures that suggest some major conflicts of interest may exist that have compromised the accuracy of allegations and the motivations of some adversaries.
"We know that the AWL was approached by political figures who requested that they sell a major portion of their property to a real estate developer interested in putting up a medical facility. We know that the leadership of the AWL declined the offer. We also know that after declining that offer, an unprecedented effort has been mounted to discredit the AWL and potentially put the organization out of business," he said. Elsner cited the discrepancy existing between state regulators who found no egregious violations with the operations of the AWL facility, while Chicago Ridge officials have issued an unprecedented amount of code violations against the same facility. "Something just doesn't seem right here," Elsner said. "We intend to uncover the truth."
"All of the accusations and the social media campaign being waged by adversaries have resulted in homeless and stray animals being put in jeopardy," Elsner stated. "While we welcome the invitation by AWL to undertake this investigation, we have made it clear that our efforts will be carried out solely on behalf of those animals," he said.
Independent investigations by the Illinois State Crime Commission have taken place throughout the state, including review of the investigations of the 1993 Brown's Chicken Massacre in Palatine, Illinois. When necessary, the Crime Commission calls upon law enforcement resources from local, state and federal agencies to assist in investigations and is well noted for its uncompromising independence and the accuracy of its investigative findings.
SOURCE Illinois State Crime Commission