Highland man cited for death threat to Belleville city clerk

News-DemocratMay 9, 2013 

— A Highland man was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with a voicemail threatening the Belleville city clerk.

Aaron Rogier, 27, called the Belleville Police Department on Monday night and said he was intoxicated when he called City Hall on Friday night, according to the police report.

Rogier did not immediately return a call for comment.

The voicemail asked Mayor Mark Eckert to "please kill" newly-elected City Clerk Dallas Cook. The message alarmed Cook and breached the peace, the non-traffic complaint said.

The man left a voicemail with profanities and before hanging up, he said: "Dallas Cook is a corrupt (expletive). Please kill him before he kills us."

The message was left at 9:42 p.m. Friday, two days after Cook, a political newcomer, was sworn in as city clerk on May 1.

Rogier was released after posting bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 20.

Cook said he does not know Rogier or why Rogier would leave such a message. He does not believe Rogier meant any harm.

"I do feel almost sorry for him because I don't think it's something he would have done in his right mind," Cook said. "So I don't 100 percent blame him. I also blame the friends who allowed him to make a phone call in that state."

Cook, who also is 27, said young people, especially, should think about how such actions -- including using social media when alcohol is involved -- could affect their professional future.

"I wouldn't want it to negatively affect the rest of his life," Cook said. "I hope people can be taught a lesson: Don't do silly things like that. It's not smart. It's not good. We take things like that seriously."

Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at jlee@bnd.com or 618-239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.

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