Judge revokes license of police officer accused of driving drunk, killing Lake Geneva woman
ELKHORN—An Illinois police sergeant had his driver's license revoked for a year Wednesday after a Walworth County judge found probable cause he was intoxicated, drove and killed a Lake Geneva woman.
Mark Mogan, 49, of Hebron, Illinois, is a member of the Lake in the Hills Police Department. Judge Phil Koss ruled Mogan's refusal to submit to a chemical test for the presence of intoxicants after a Dec. 27 crash was “improper.”
Two Lake Geneva police officers testified Wednesday they smelled intoxicant's on Mogan's breath following the crash on Edwards Boulevard south of Highway 50 in Lake Geneva.
The officers testified pedestrian Samantha Norris, 29, was crossing the road when Mogan's car struck her on a cold night. The officers said although it was dark, there were streetlights on the road and Mogan's headlights were on at the time of the crash.
Norris was transported to Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn, before being flown to Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, where she died Dec. 29, Lt. Ed Gritzner said last month.
Koss revoked Mogan's license for a year and also ordered him to install an ignition interlock device for the same time period and to undergo a mandatory alcohol or substance abuse assessment. Those are all in effect immediately.
Mogan has not been charged with a criminal offense, but Koss said there is probable cause to arrest Mogan on suspicion of drunken driving.
Mogan appeared in court Wednesday but invoked his fifth amendment right and did not testify.
Mogan's attorney, Larry Steen, argued that because the officers testified Mogan's speech and balance were normal when they spoke with him, nothing they observed showed Mogan was incapable of driving safely.
“There was no poor driving,” Steen said. “The accident would have happened to any of us if we had been driving at the same locality as Mr. Mogan. The evidence shows the pedestrian should not have been in the crosswalk.”
The officers, Lucas Hansen and Shannon Gee of the Lake Geneva Police Department, said Mogan was present at the scene when they arrived and cooperated when they asked him questions.
Koss disagreed with Steen's assessment and said there was not enough evidence to decide one way or the other if the accident could have happened to anyone.
“Just because somebody is potentially walking in the crosswalk when they shouldn't doesn't give you the right to run them down,” Koss said.
Hansen said when he arrived on the scene, he saw Norris lying in the road face-down.
Gee said when she spoke with Mogan, he was visibly upset and his voice was shaky.
Hansen said he asked Mogan if he had been drinking alcohol. Mogan said no.
Hansen said Mogan refused to give a preliminary breath test and a field sobriety test. Hansen also asked Mogan at the police station if he would consent to a blood test. Mogan refused that as well.
Steen asked both officers if they were aware that Mogan was the one who called 911, to which they said no.
Mogan posted a $5,000 cash bond Dec. 28, according to court records. Lake in the Hills Officer Amanda Schmitt said last month Mogan was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Mogan is next due in court at 8:30 a.m. March 16 for further proceedings in a potential criminal case.