Williamson County prosecutor bowing out of cop conflictPosted by Jack Howser on Friday, March 1st, 2013 @ 12:55 pm.
WILLIAMSON CO.---Say what you will about Chuck Garnati, the man knows how to handle cases when they involve cops. And that includes when to pursue them as well as when to back out.
In the case of a Johnston City cop conflict, he's bowing out.
Garnati has asked that a special prosecutor be appointed in the case of Vernon Campbell, police chief of Johnston City (a little burg just off the interstate in Williamson), who is alleged to have struck in some way (punched, hit, slapped) another officer, Tim Patrick, on February 9, 2013.
Patrick filed a battery complaint which indicated that what lead up to the physical aspect of it was a verbal altercation, this occurring at the police station, where Patrick had been reviewing a video of a stabbing incident that had happened the night before.
Reports indicate that Patrick said "friction arose between (him) and Campbell's son Thomas," who is an auxiliary police officer, as Patrick was reviewing the tape.
We can't figure that one out; unless something else was going on besides just "reviewing" the tape....like maybe Patrick making some comments about his boss, Campbell, while doing so, or some such thing.
In any event, Patrick made a report to Illinois State Police about the matter....along with "another case in which he considered Campbell suspect."
We don't know "suspect" of what. But this is beginning to sound like the brouhaha that went down in Royalton a few years back, wherein their police chief was reported to ISP for potentially taking things out of the evidence locker a la Raymond Martin. The officer who reported the chief to ISP, Shawn Turner, was subsequently fired. Then, here a while back (just a few months ago), this same police chief was actually discovered to have been stealing and was terminated. Who was covering for him? Probably everybody, so everyone's complicit. What a sad, sad state our cops are in right now.
Anyway, Garnati, after not bowing out of so many other cop cases in Williamson (the cops who beat up that Marine in 2007 come immediately to mind, but those aren't the only ones), is bowing out of this one because his working relationship with Vern Campbell goes bad "25 years" and he believes there's be a perceived conflict. Good for Chuck. He's one of the few prosecutors in downstate that we have any respect for, because he's been doing his job. We hope he keeps doing it. We also hope we can get the backstory about how this whole altercation in Johnston City burst forth. Keep checking back, because we're sure going to try.
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