When St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly contacted Caseyville about his credibility concerns with Police Chief J.D. Roth, the village's response was to put Roth on paid administrative leave.
While that's fine for Roth -- he gets an extended vacation at the taxpayers' expense -- this action does nothing to benefit the public or justice.
How does Roth ever effectively function in his job if he cannot, as Kelly requested, take part in investigations, handle evidence or access village records? Kelly wrote that the problems extend beyond ongoing investigations of Roth: "Regardless of the ultimate outcome of these proceedings, sufficient information has been presented thus far that raises serious questions about Mr. Roth's credibility as an officer at this time."
Kelly also pointed out that defense attorneys could bring up Roth's credibility issues in court: "Judges and juries would then view Mr. Roth's reports and testimony through the prism of this information with predictable, devastating results for any case."
And how does Roth effectively supervise officers in the department in the future after the officers brought forward some of the allegations that led to the investigations?
A chief without credibility is worthless to Caseyville. Putting him on paid leave is just an expensive way of postponing what the village ultimately will have to do: fire him.