EDWARDSVILLE — A former Granite City police officer was charged Monday with four felonies for lying to fellow officers investigating the theft of his police vehicle in December.
According to a court document, Thomas A. Paul, 51, was charged with three counts of obstructing justice, a Class 4 felony punishable by one to three years in prison; and one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years. His bail was set at $50,000.
Paul was charged by St. Clair County Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Lewis, a special prosecutor requested by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office because of a potential conflict of interest. Paul was charged in Madison County’s Third Judicial Circuit. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
The obstruction of justice counts state Paul told three police officers, include Granite City Police Chief Rich Miller, that his unmarked squad vehicle was taken during a motorist assist stop Dec. 28 near the intersection of North Street and Illinois 3. Paul told investigators he was waiting to turn onto Illinois 3 behind a minivan stopped at the intersection. When the van failed to move, Paul said he exited his vehicle to check on the driver and could see the driver was slumped at the wheel. As Paul tried to wake up the driver, he heard his car backing up from its position behind the van. Paul said his squad car, now driven by an unknown person, drove forward and struck him, knocking him to the road. Paul said the squad and the van both turned right going north on Illinois 3.
Police recovered Paul’s vehicle, which contained guns and other police equipment, on Dec. 29 in the 4600 block of Wallington Court in north St. Louis County. Some of the equipment, including firearms, still was missing when police recovered the vehicle.
The obstruction charges state Paul gave false information about his vehicle being taken during a motorist assist stop and that he could not describe the person who took the vehicle. The official misconduct charge states Paul submitted a false injury report form to Miller.
All of the charges state the false information Paul gave officers was to prevent the arrest of another individual. The case is still under investigation and the St. Clair County prosecutor’s office was not releasing additional information Wednesday.
According to media reports, Paul retired as a lieutenant from the Granite City Police Department shortly after the incident.