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.