EAST ST. LOUIS — The police officer accused of being drunk when he responded to a burglary is the same officer found passed out behind the wheel at a stop light in Belleville.
Police Chief Michael Floore on Thursday confirmed that the officer he placed on paid administrative leave was Ricky Perry. He also said that no breath alcohol test was conducted after a resident complained that Perry was intoxicated and using a lot of profanity when he was sent to investigate a burglary and arson at 4 a.m. Sunday.
Perry has been with the department for 14 years.
In 2007 Belleville police said they found Perry drunk, armed and asleep behind the wheel of his unmarked squad car stopped at a red light. The car was running and Perry's foot was on the brake, but he was allowed to leave with another East St. Louis officer.
In 2009 prosecutors reviewed cases involving Perry after a judge decided he was not credible and dismissed murder charges against a defendant. As a result, former St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida said publicly he would not prosecute any cases in which Perry was the charging officer.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan N. Kelly said Thursday that Perry continues to have serious credibility issues. "We will not use him as a key witness in any cases."
Kelly said Floore is consulting with his office as they conduct an internal investigation of Perry.
Floore said Thursday the Illinois State Police were contacted Sunday morning about taking a breath test of Perry, but there were no troopers available. He said he then sent Perry home.
Don Brown said he saw a complete lack of professionalism or respect when Perry was sent early Sunday to his stepdaughter's house at 473 N. 22nd St. in East St. Louis after someone ransacked her home and then started a fire.
He said police were called at 1 a.m. and Perry arrived at 4 a.m. Sunday.
"He was reeking with alcohol and he had a beer in the patrol car," Brown said earlier this week. "My stepdaughter saw the beer in the police car when he placed her in the patrol car to interview her about the burglary."
Brown said Perry was so intoxicated that he could not put together a cohesive thought. He was using a lot of profanity.
Brown said he learned that there was no breath test conducted on Perry, which Floore confirmed on Thursday.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.