No prison time for cop impersonator

Victoria A.F. Camron

ST. CHARLES - An Aurora man charged with repeatedly posing as a police officer and taking people's money in 1999 pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felonies, but won't go to prison for his crimes.

Dressed in a blue shirt and tie, Ronald Lye, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of an oscillating blue light and one count of impersonating a police officer. For the two convictions 16th Judicial Circuit Judge Philip DiMarzio sentenced Lye to 90 days on electronic home monitoring and three years on probation. He also must perform 50 hours of community service, pay a fine of $2,500 and pay restitution of $200.

The maximum sentence for the Class 4 felonies to which he pleaded guilty is three years in prison. The Kane County State's Attorney's Office dropped numerous other charges, including armed robbery and armed violence, that would have carried prison sentences of between six and 30 years.

"The more serious charges were dismissed. He pled guilty to using the oscillating blue light, which I believe he wasn't even aware was a crime," said David Camic, Lye's defense attorney, after the court accepted the plea agreement.

The Kane County State's Attorney's Office could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Lye, a former security guard at the Howard Johnson Hotel in North Aurora, was accused of pretending to be a police officer and intimidating people on or near the hotel. In some cases, he reportedly entered occupied hotel rooms and questioned them. Some victims said lye released them only after they paid him a fine for some violation, according to North Aurora police officials.

Another man who acted with Lye, Michael Pianovski, is charged with impersonating a police officer, aggravated unlawful restraint, armed violence, intimidation, and eavesdropping. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec.15