No Charges In Springfield Police File Shredding Case

Feb 11, 2015

Credit flickr/RobertKuykendall

Criminal charges won't be filed involving the shredding of internal Springfield police documents.  But the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor called the conduct in the case "embarrassingly incompetent."

The special prosecutor took the case on in 2013. A news release issued Wednesday stated "The reality of this case is that once charges are filed, the prosecutor must be able to prove all elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt."

"Such a standard cannot be achieved given the facts of this case. The conduct here, while embarrassingly incompetent, simply did not amount to a provable crime," the statement continued.

30 files were reportedly shredded after changes were made in the police union contract to allow the action earlier than previously spelled out.  The files included details of a drunken incident out of state involving then-Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher. 

Springfield's former Police Chief Robert Williams retired and City Attorney Mark Cullen resigned amid a

"The conduct here, while embarrassingly incompetent, simply did not amount to a provable crime" -- State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor

growing outcry over the case. 

Mayor Mike Houston has denied any prior knowledge of the activity. 

The City settled out of court with Calvin Christian, who had filed a Freedom of Information Act Request to obtain Buscher's file. 

The investigation involved two former State's Attorneys and the Illinois State Police.

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston released the following statement Wednesday night:

"I  wish to sincerely thank the attorneys and investigators at the State Appellate Prosecutors Office for their diligence and professionalism. I agree with their assessment of this embarrassing and unfortunate conduct.  It is personally disappointing to me that certain individuals used extremely poor judgment.  My goal has always been to uncover the truth, which is why I wrote a letter to the Attorney General asking for this investigation.  Later I waived the 'attorney/client privilege' so that all information would be available to investigators and anyone who violated the law would be punished."