Outside agency to review assistant chief’s traffic accident

2012-10-09T19:25:00Z 2013-06-25T19:47:24Z Outside agency to review assistant chief’s traffic accidentBy Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com
October 09, 2012 7:25 pm  • 

BLOOMINGTON — An outside agency will review the Bloomington Police Department’s handling of a recent traffic accident involving Assistant Chief Bob Wall, who was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and improper lane usage.

City Manager David Hales told The Pantagraph on Tuesday that “we have not closed the book on the incident. There is still additional work and review to be accomplished.”

Hales declined to identify the agency that will conduct the review, saying details are still being finalized.

“The objective is to have an independent review, and that can’t be conducted if it’s totally in-house,” said Hales.

Hales said he has not seen all the reports from the Oct. 3 incident in which Wall allegedly knocked down a pole at Ireland Grove Road and Veterans Parkway.  Wall left the accident scene and called the police department after driving a short distance home, Chief Randy McKinley said Friday.

Wall was issued tickets late Friday afternoon charging him with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and improper lane usage.

The police chief said he was told about the accident as he was driving home Wednesday night from Chicago. He said he was told by officers who went to Wall’s home that a slight odor of alcohol was detected.

McKinley sent officers back to Wall’s home — by his estimates no more than an hour later — to conduct field sobriety tests which he said Wall took and passed. Wall passed those tests, so officers had no probable cause to ask the police official to submit to a breath screening that measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood, said McKinley.

Wall admitted to officers that “he had had a couple of drinks earlier in the evening,” said McKinley. Wall is not facing a citation for driving under the influence, he said.

McLean County State’s Attorney Jason Chambers said Monday that at this point he does not plan to ask for a special prosecutor to handle the case against the police officer.

“I will treat the citations like any other citations that get issued,” said Chambers, adding that he sees no conflict between his office and the pending case.

McKinley said Friday an internal investigation is being conducted to determine if Wall would face disciplinary action. The chief said Wall was not placed on administrative leave while the matter is investigated because the circumstances of the incident don’t interfere with Wall’s duties.

Wall’s responsibilities include oversight of the department’s administration, budget, communications center, training and public affairs functions.

Wall has not returned a call seeking comment on the incident.

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