CASEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois police chief was put on administrative leave Monday while a grand jury investigates his use of a truck seized as part of a drug case.
Caseyville records show that Police Chief J.D. Roth did not sell the 2003 Dodge Ram pickup at auction, as required under state law, but instead drove it 65,000 miles for personal use and charged the village more than $6,000 for maintenance, the Belleville News Democrat reported Monday.
Mayor George Chance put Roth on paid leave after receiving a letter from St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, who asked that Roth not be involved in police investigations or have access to evidence or village computer records while the investigation is under way.
Roth, 55, who earns about $58,000 a year, was advised not to comment without the approval of the village board. Kelly declined to comment because of the investigation.
State law requires that vehicles seized by police be sold at auction for the benefit of the public, unless they are registered by the department and restricted to official use.
The newspaper reported that village documents also showed Roth played a role in obtaining bids for the truck, which eventually was sold to a private dealer and later resold to Roth. The purchase price was not available.
The newspaper reported last month that village documents indicated Roth directed a village officer not to charge Roth’s girlfriend with felony drunken driving, even though her license was revoked.
In his recent letter to the village, the state’s attorney said past dealings with the police chief have been, “nothing but appropriate.” But since the investigation began, “concerns have resulted in investigations which are ongoing.”
Kelly also asked that Roth be barred from entering the state’s attorney’s offices, the newspaper reported.
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