BPD asst. chief pleads guilty to improper lane usage; other charges dropped

2012-11-07T01:45:00Z 2013-06-25T19:47:23Z BPD asst. chief pleads guilty to improper lane usage; other charges droppedBy Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington Assistant Police Chief Bob Wall pleaded guilty Tuesday to improper lane usage in connection with an Oct. 3 traffic accident on the city’s east side.

As part of the plea, a special prosecutor dismissed charges of leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report property damage.

Wall must pay a $250 fine, serve six months court supervision and complete eight hours of community service.

Associate Judge David Butler accepted the plea deal presented after an hour of meetings between defense lawyer Jim Casson and the special prosecutor, Dave Neal. Bloomington police Lt. Troy Doza also attended the hearing.

Wall and Casson declined to comment.

Wall was charged two days after his vehicle hit a utility pole at Veterans Parkway and Ireland Grove Road. He drove to his home nearby where officers later conducted a field sobriety test after detecting a faint odor of alcohol on Wall who admitted to consuming alcohol. Bloomington Police Chief Randy McKinley said he ordered the test that Wall passed, making it unnecessary for a breath test to be requested of the police official.

Special prosecutor Dave Neal said his offer to dismiss the charge of leaving the scene of an accident —the most serious offense —was based on reports he received that showed Wall called the department within two to 10 minutes of hitting the pole. The improper lane usage offense represented the state’s strongest case against the officer, he said.

But the dismissal did not change the prosecutor’s opinion of Walls’ conduct.

“In my view, the police officer should have remained at the scene until police got there,” said Neal.

The prosecutor said he believes Walls’ punishment exceeds what a driver on similar charges would receive.

“Normally it would have been a fine and court supervision. I was holding him to a higher standard as a sworn police officer than the average motorist by adding the community service,” said Neal.

Wall still faces possible consequences for his conduct in a pending BPD internal investigation. At the city’s request, the Illinois State Police also is reviewing the potential criminal nature of the incident.

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(24) Comments

  1. Nickyle
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    Nickyle - November 11, 2012 10:19 am
    Plea bargain.... Doesn't "bargain" mean to trade, or to get something in exchange? What did the prosecutor "gain or get in exchange" for dropping the two charges? How difficult is it to prosecute "leaving the scene"? I don't understand how that was not a "strong case"? Either you left or you didn't? Calling 2-10 minutes later, from a different location "proves" you left! The way this entire incident was handled is completely pathetic and reflects poorly upon the entire BPD and the special prosecutor.
  2. ct
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    ct - November 10, 2012 1:55 pm
    I can tell you this is all a big LIE

    I faced the exact same chargers for hitting a deer and driving away [old car with no collision insurance, so why bother]. Deer was in the ditch and I was fine so I just went home.

    I even hired the EXACT SAME ATTORNEY, yes Mr Casson.

    The state offered me plead guilty, roughly $2000 fine, and 4 weekends in jail. I have no prior convictions, and one speeding ticket 16 years ago.
    The best plea bargain I could get was plead guilty, plus 2yrs probation, plus $1000 fine, plus attorney, plus court costs. And it jacked my insurance rates.

    I hit the deer at night, call the next morning so highway crews could clean it up and not having other animals around there causing more problems; instead I got a sheriffs visit, and it wasn't a white glove one like this guy got.
  3. pantherswin
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    pantherswin - November 09, 2012 4:05 pm
    what a f*$king joke!!!! bob wall should have to face the same consequences and embarrassment that anyone else would have!!!!! but obviously the law is different if your a cop! illigal lane usage and 8 hours community service. really, why bother!!!!! i wish i was a cop and be protected and go out to the bars and brag about it. someone needs to step up and do something about this!!!!! but im sure this will happen again and will have the same results. thats the way to step up for your guy BPD. PITIFUL!!!!!!!
  4. Grandpa Sam
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    Grandpa Sam - November 09, 2012 10:43 am
    He used up his political capitol! Plus, 6 months no license, the chief will have to drive him around, if still around!
  5. Newsworthy
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    Newsworthy - November 07, 2012 8:35 pm
    Wow...Amazing. "punishment exceeds what a driver on similar charges would receive"....Ummm. I don't think so. DOUBLE STANDARD.
  6. Crybaby
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    Crybaby - November 07, 2012 3:53 pm
    Fellow BloNomians, before casting either the first or the last stone, you would do well to consider the immortal words of the most brilliant and forgiving mind ever to grace the firmament: 'we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.'
  7. innocent1
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    innocent1 - November 07, 2012 8:49 am
  8. Kidd
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    Kidd - November 06, 2012 7:54 pm
    very disappointing, sets a terrible example for the citizens of Bloomington.
  9. not near 61761
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    not near 61761 - November 06, 2012 6:39 pm
    a cop got out of it? WOW i wasn't expecting that!! if it would have been ME that done this, i'd be without a licence, given tons of tickets and maybe in jail. BUT it was a cop so I think we all knew nothing would happen.
  10. over50
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    over50 - November 06, 2012 6:21 pm
    Even the field sobriety test is a matter of opinion. Where are the cameras so that we can see it on Americas funniest videos. You can bet your bottom dollar if it was a citizen with no ties to the city it would be made public.
  11. Pist'L Packin' Mama
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    Pist'L Packin' Mama - November 06, 2012 5:56 pm
    You tie this in with the fact Chief McKinley is a finalist for a chief position in Missouri and I bet he is praying to God he gets that job so he won't have to put up with the backlash. This penalty for the assistant chief is a joke and the City Manager should be sorely embarrassed about the manner in which his police department has handled this case. Where is the minute time line from hitting the pole, to leaving the scene, to making the initial call, to the time the first two officers arrived at his residence, to the time they called the Chief and reported the results of this first meeting, to the time they arrived back at Wall's residence to administer the field sobriety test, to the results of this field sobriety test taken at that specific moment, to their best guess as to what he would have blown had he been administered the test at the scene. People should not let this be swept under the rug and should hold the city manager and chief accountable to make this information know to the public and also the results of the investigation by the state police. If you think Benghazi was a coverup, stay tuned for this one.
  12. 110100100
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    110100100 - November 06, 2012 4:51 pm
    Absolutely outrageous, but pretty much what we've come to expect with the boys in blue in this town. They'll probably have another "no refusal" weekend just to prove some point.
  13. over50
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    over50 - November 06, 2012 2:42 pm
    What a joke and waste of time, money , and manpower this was. Never except the word of a cop as true as this incident is not that hard to see.
  14. Common Sense Townie
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    Common Sense Townie - November 06, 2012 2:28 pm
    Leaving the scene of an accident should have resulted in a 1 year suspension of driving PRIVILEGES.
  15. Mags
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    Mags - November 06, 2012 2:14 pm
    This verdict is not a surprise. I think we all knew what the verdict would be. If an ordinary citizen left the scene of an accident with property damage and a scent of alcohol, we would of been given a breathalyizer, sent to jail, without passing GO. Police officers in Bloomington are treated and charged differently than regular citizens. 8 hours of community service....why even bother.
  16. In The Real World
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    In The Real World - November 06, 2012 1:53 pm
    Just them good ole boys
    Never meanin’ no harm
    Beats all you never saw
    Been a skirtin' the law
    Since the day they was born
  17. newsak
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    newsak - November 06, 2012 1:34 pm
    Big surprise...
  18. tony clifton
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    tony clifton - November 06, 2012 1:20 pm
    Who didn't see this coming?
  19. Kate
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    Kate - November 06, 2012 12:30 pm
    Bob Wall should have been forced to take a breathalyzer test. It is common for people to pass a field sobriety test and fail the breathalyzer. If guilty of the DUI, he would have a minimum of 1 year license suspension, and potentially had 1 year in jail. Also, eight hours of community service is a joke. Leaving the scene of a property damage accident (625 ILCS 5/11-402) is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable up to one year in jail and/or a $2500 fine.
  20. Luckycharm
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    Luckycharm - November 06, 2012 12:19 pm
    Lame. Setting an example that if you are drinking and driving and hit something, just leave the scene and avoid a DUI. Well played on Wall's part though.
  21. greenoak
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    greenoak - November 06, 2012 12:18 pm
    What a crock!
  22. Schleswig-Holstein
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    Schleswig-Holstein - November 06, 2012 12:13 pm
    I feel much safer now.
  23. SomeGuy2000
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    SomeGuy2000 - November 06, 2012 12:06 pm
    If any regular person would have done this they would be in jail, charged with a DUI in a heartbeat... way to go BPD, restoring our faith in government!
  24. Pool Boy
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    Pool Boy - November 06, 2012 11:55 am
    If it looks like a duck ...
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