Courts & Crime

Cop uses work computer to get romantic rival in trouble

CASEYVILLE -- Police officer Steve Epps used an Illinois State Police computer check to run a romantic rival's license plate number, then sent a fax to the man's boss to report the man was driving recklessly in a company vehicle.

But the man wasn't in Caseyville, according to documents released to the News-Democrat under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. He was parked at Epps' former girlfriend's home in Swansea.

Epps was the subject of an official misconduct investigation launched by Chief J.D. Roth, who referred the case to ISP's Public Integrity Unit. St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida declined charges against Epps.

Roth declined to comment.

Epps said in an interview he was just doing his job by sending the fax about the reckless driving.

Epps was suspended without pay in December and faced dismissal after Roth accused him of violating department rules. Eight of the village's 10 police officers later signed a petition asking for the chief's ouster.

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