Police Chief says Twitter search warrant was executed at Mayor's request & due process

By WEEK Producer

April 25, 2014 Updated Apr 26, 2014 at 12:49 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said his detectives executed a search warrant at the home of the man who started a fake twitter account at Mayor Jim Ardis' request and following due process.

Settingsgaard and Peoria County States Attorney Jerry Brady held a news conference on Friday to address the matter.

While no charges are being filed against the person who set up the fake account, one person was arrested for marijuana possession.

Local officials have been accused of overreacting to the prank.

The chief said the search was legal, but he respects the state's attorney's decision not to file charges based on the technicality that the impersonation was done online.

"A normal reading of this statue leads you to believe a person who violates a public official is in violation of this statute, and that is the case, but the question becomes the medium of communication," Brady said. "In other words, the medium in which you communicate that message determines whether or not you are in criminal violation."

"We obviously stand by his decision," Settingsgaard said. "That's the next point in due process, despite what the police think and despite the actions that the police took, which were all in good faith, the prosecutor is that next level of due process who's job is to say, 'Do I agree with that?'"

Settingsguard said while he respects the decision, he believes the law does not do an adequate job of protecting those up against online impersonation.