South Jacksonville’s police chief’s retirement punctuated one of the longest and most well-attended South Jacksonville board of trustee meetings in the village’s history.
In addition to allegations of theft against former village clerk and current treasurer Linda Douglass, an Illinois State Police report released late last year also documents allegations of official misconduct by Evans, the police chief since 1989.
No charges were filed by the Attorney General’s Office.
In a statement distributed to media after last night’s meeting ended, Evans said, “I have devoted 40 years of my life to the citizens of the Village of South Jacksonville…I am extremely proud of my service that, in my opinion, has gone above and beyond what was expected of me…we all make mistakes…[just] because I’m a police officer, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t made my share of mistakes.
“However, the recent allegations by a group of people made against me…simply are not true.”
Evans said he “did not knowingly load” pornographic apps on his village-paid iPhone, and says his iTunes account, as well as eBay account, a credit card and personal email address, were “compromised by unknown individuals.” He says he may pursue legal action as a result.
Evans also appears to defend himself in the statement regarding accusations of driving his squad car for off-duty use and the use of petty cash for lunches.
In response to allegations that Evans gets credit for working hours for which he didn’t work, he notes the village’s decision to make his position salaried years ago created a situation where he was not required to work any minimum or maximum hours, and that as police chief, he is on call 24/7.
Evans says he had planned on retiring next year, but says he now intends to retire on May 31st of this year. He says, “[hopefully] this will assist in clearing the air, reduce the bickering and replace the accusations with efforts…to make the Village the wonderful community it has always been.”
Evans was present during last night’s board meeting but was not available for comment after the meeting.
We’ll have more in a future newscast about the rest of the Richard Evans retirement announcement document, which also includes the police chief’s comments on the rest of the state police report and action taken by the village before and after the report was concluded.
You can read the full statement below. Please note that several marks on the pages were made by news reporters.