Several newly-released documents shed light on an internal investigation conducted by the South Jacksonville Police Department looking into official misconduct.
The online group Morgan County Watchdogs has released investigation files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act referenced by former police chief Richard Evans back in April.
The reports had been sought by interim police chief Mike Broaddus, who resigned last week temporarily after having not being able to obtain the reports. They were apparently found on a thumb drive in the office of Village Attorney Allen Yow.
South Jacksonville police officer Greg Lowe was asked by Evans and former mayor Gordon Jumper to look into missing documents in November 2014, a month after Jumper was interviewed by Illinois State Police as part of a year-long investigation into multiple issues of alleged wrongdoing at Village Hall.
Jumper ordered a detailed search of Village Hall and both records storage rooms trying to locate missing documents, according to Lowe. He says he met with John Green, the water department superintendent, and inventoried items reportedly missing.
The ISP investigation indicates there are missing cash receipts, adjustments and bill register documents from 2009 to 2013. However, Lowe reported all the cash receipts were found. He said there were six months of bill register info missing.
As Evans’ retirement statement indicated, Lowe talked to water clerk Kathy Culpepper and found some missing files apparently in her workspace.
Lowe said in the report, “It is odd that there seems to be some organization to storage of prior years’ documents but hardly any of the years that our search was confined to.”
Two other officials were targeted for allegations of official misconduct in the SJPD report.
Lowe looked into a complaint made by former village clerk Linda Douglass on March 17th of this year, less than a week after WLDS-WEAI News ran its full report on the 2014 Illinois State Police investigation.
Douglass complained that Fire Chief David Hickox may be using the village’s Sam’s Club account for personal use; specifically, Douglass, serving then as the village treasurer, reportedly said Hickox asked her for reimbursement for the club membership, but not other purchased items.
According to a membership report Lowe says he obtained, there were nearly a hundred items purchased at the bulk supply store.
Hickox is also named in a letter reportedly obtained from an anonymous citizen in September of last year. It claims Hickox used village-owned equipment for his own personal use.
Lowe says a review of security camera footage showed Hickox and fire captain Brian Glascock loading what appears to be a battery charger into the back of Hickox’ truck and leaving the department.
The letter alleges Hickox “was bringing home equipment belong to the fire department for his personal use and bragging about it.” It also quotes Hickox as saying he can do anything he wants any time because he’s the fire chief.
Another complaint by Douglass, which led to Jumper making an official complaint to police, referenced former code enforcement officer Dick Samples.
According to Lowe, a file folder found on Samples’ desk in September 2014- about a month after Samples resigned- appeared to contain property records printed off the village computer.
Lowe says Samples was shown on security camera footage to have used the village’s copier to make copies of the records.
Evans says “two completed investigations” were forwarded to the state Appellate Prosecutor’s Office to see if prosecution was warranted, but the office told us in April that it received no such files.
Evans said a factor in two investigations being incomplete was that Lowe was named in the ISP report.
You can view the documents obtained in the FOIA request below: