Peoria policeman demoted amid information leak

By WEEK Producer

November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM CDT

Peoria police department Lt. Doug Theobald has volunteered himself for demotion to sergeant.

The move comes as a result of Theobald's actions related to an alleged cover up in the crash of an unmarked city vehicle in July.

The alleged driver of the vehicle, Officer John Couve, and Sgt. Richard Glover, who was first on the scene, are both facing felony charges.

Peoria police chief Steve Settingsgaard says Theobald, and vice officer Richard Linthicum had knowledge of facts about the incident that they failed to share.

"They didn't lie, they didn't obstruct. They failed to do what they really could have done to make to make justice be served that night," explained Settingsgaard. "There were no phone calls to superior officers."

Linthicum accepted a 30-day suspension. Both will remain on the police force.

But Settingsgaard is concerned about internal information regarding the investigation that was leaked to a member of the media.

"I believe that if that leak is in house its with malicious intent," stated Settingsgaard. "It violates our oath, it violates our rules, it violates the principles we're sworn to."

And Settingsgaard says it's a growing problem.

He points out that sensitive information made public, even to a reporter, has the potential to compromise criminal cases.

"Let's say there was a murder and there were certain things that happened at the scene that only the killer would know and only the investigative detectives know. It now detracts from a confession because the suspect may have learned those things from watching a news report," the Chief said.

Settingsgaard couldn't say with certainty whether he thought there was more than one leaker in his department. But he did emphasize that its become common practice and he aims to stop it.