COOK COUNTY, IL – Cook County Sheriff’s Police detectives are conducting an ongoing investigation of a supervisor at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in unincorporated Proviso Township, accused of sexually harassing four female coworkers.
On Friday, Sheriff’s Police detectives arrested Edward Howard, 67, of the 17000 block of Larkin Avenue in Country Club Hills, who was subsequently charged with four counts of misdemeanor battery and released after posting ten percent of his $4,000 bond.
In early February, the Hines VA Hospital Police Department requested that Sheriff’s Police detectives conduct a criminal investigation after a female victim filed a complaint with the hospital’s Human Resources department alleging abuse by her supervisor, Howard, who is Chief of Central Supplies for the hospital.
Over the next several weeks, detectives identified three additional female employees who said Howard touched them on their breasts, buttocks, or vagina and subjected them inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.
The alleged incidents occurred between November 2010 and January 2021. In each case, Howard was the supervisor of the victim, and three of the women told investigators they did not report the incidents because they feared retaliation from Howard.
Howard is expected to appear in court on May 5 at the Maybrook Courthouse.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages all victims of sexual assault or harassment to promptly report it to authorities.