Photo by Fred Pollard
The Alton City Council discusses the ongoing evidence tampering investigation involving the Alton Police Department before going into executive session.
ALTON — The city is staying mum on an ongoing evidence tampering investigation … at least for now.
The City Council met in an executive session to discuss the investigation during a special meeting on Jan. 5, and although the chamber was packed with spectators, little was discussed in open forum.
Capt. Scott Waldrup and his attorney, Lee Barron, also were present and eventually were called into the executive session.
“When the captain learned there was going to be this special meeting, he wanted to have an opportunity to stand before you,” Barron said in open session. “He wants to provide the aldermen and mayor a complete, accurate picture of what’s happened.”
Waldrup was placed on administrative leave last month, reportedly with pay, in the midst of a missing evidence investigation.
Waldrup began his tenure with the Alton Police Department in 1988. In 2012, now a captain in the department, he stepped in as interim police chief following the retirement of Chief David Hayes and before the appointment of Jason “Jake” Simmons as the new chief.
Also in 2012, Waldrup was placed on administrative leave following a sexual harassment suit filed by a fellow officer. The female officer later settled out of court with the city of Alton.
Last month, Pfc. Jonathan Forrler, who served as evidence officer, was indicted by a Madison County grand jury on a charge of official misconduct in relation to the missing evidence investigation. During an Alton City Council Committee of the Whole meeting in December, Alderman Gary Fleming questioned legal expenses being paid by the city to Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick and Kohn. City Counselor Jim Schrempf explained the expenses were related to the ongoing investigation, and that it was possible more people involved would be brought forward.
Several community leaders, including Bobby Collins Sr. and James Gray of the Alton branch of the NAACP, asked to speak at the meeting regarding Waldrup’s suspension, but when the time came, each said they would like to reserve their allotted time for a future meeting.
“Since some things are in the works, I will not speak tonight,” Gray said.
Alderman Fleming also questioned the necessity of the executive session, where the meeting would take place in private chambers.
“I would like the public to know what is going on,” Fleming said.
“You are talking about potential litigation,” Schrempf replied. “At the appropriate time, things become public. They do not become public during the meeting and preparation of the litigation.”
After an executive session lasting more than 90 minutes, a portion of which was attended by Waldrup and his attorney, the council reconvened and then adjourned for the night.
“We had a good discussion, and both sides were heard,” Alderman Jim Ryan said.
Waldrup is expected to appear before the Alton Civil Service Commission tonight for a hearing regarding the investigation.