Collinsville officer declines chief job in Caseyville; mayor 'heartbroken'

News-DemocratJuly 17, 2013 

— The troubled Caseyville Police Department will not have a new chief from Collinsville after all.

Last month, Caseyville Mayor Len Black announced that he planned to appoint Collinsville's Lt. Todd Link to replace former Chief J.D. Roth, who was removed from office shortly before he committed suicide.

Link was recommended by the sheriffs of both St. Clair and Madison counties, and is also an instructor at Lindenwood University in addition to his long service in the Collinsville Police Department.

However, Link announced Wednesday that he has "respectfully declined" the position for family and financial reasons.

"This has been a difficult decision for me," Link said. "I believe that the village of Caseyville has tremendous potential for growth and prosperity. I very much wanted to be a part of that progress in Caseyville for years to come."

Link thanked Black for the opportunity, and the sheriffs for their support. "I am confident in (Black's) leadership and in his vision for the village of Caseyville," Link said.

Black said he was "heartbroken" to hear of Link's decision.

"I had my heart set on him coming in," Black said. "I liked his personality and his background."

Caseyville's police department has been wracked with controversy since Roth was suspended and facing criminal charges in relation to misappropriation of village property. While suspended, Roth committed suicide at his home in Fairview Heights.

Black said he intends to reopen the search and continue to seek a new chief from outside the department.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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