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Downstate Illinois police chief accused of misconduct

Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth 56 was free bond after being accused two felony misconduct counts. | AP Photo

Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth, 56, was free on bond after being accused of two felony misconduct counts. | AP Photo

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BELLEVILLE — A southwestern Illinois police chief was free on bond Thursday after being accused of two felony misconduct counts that include claims he misused a pickup truck seized as part of a drug case.

Charged Wednesday in St. Clair County, Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth, 56, is alleged to have driven for personal and police business a 2003 Dodge Dakota Ram 1500 pickup seized in a drug bust by the Caseyville police instead of selling it at auction as instructed by the village board.

After the 4,300-resident village just east of St. Louis told Roth to get bids from local car dealers, the truck was sold for $7,500 to a dealership owned by a friend of Roth’s, and Roth bought the vehicle less than a month later, Belleville News-Democrat ( reported.

State law requires that vehicles seized by police be sold at auction for the benefit of the public, unless they are registered by the department and restricted to official use.

Roth’s attorney, Clyde Kuehn, said his client has been a valued law enforcer for 26 years. He also said Roth is confident he’ll prove his innocence.

The other misconduct count alleges that Roth made personal use of luggage bought with village funds. Each charge is punishable by a possible five years in prison and $25,000 fine.

Roth has been on paid administrative leave since the investigation was made public in March.

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