Caseyville police chief charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, battery

News-DemocratApril 24, 2014 

Caseyville Police Chief Jose Alvarez and Mayor Len Black went at it Feb. 19 during the Village Board meeting, shouting over operation of the department, making local hires and whether talk radio personality Bob Romanik really runs the police department. At one point a police sergeant and several others separated Alvarez from the mayor.

BND

— Police Chief Jose Alvarez was charged on Thursday with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and battery offenses following a contentious Village Board meeting in February, according to charges filed by a special prosecutor.

Alvarez, 61, of Smithton, allegedly made threatening gestures and stalked about the room during a videotaped meeting of the Caseyville Village Board on Feb. 19. He also allegedly struck Caseyville Police Sgt. Frank Moore in the chest with his own chest during the meeting, according to the charges.

Alvarez has been suspended with pay, and Scott Miller has been named interim chief.

Alvarez could not be reached for comment.

Mayor Leonard Black fired Alvarez on Feb. 12, but the Village Board unanimously voted to reinstate Alvarez during the Feb. 19 meeting.

Black said he is aware of the charges, but he has no comment at this time.

David Rands, the special prosecutor, had been requested to review the case by the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office after it was deemed there was a conflict of interest due to Alvarez's previous employment with their office.

Alvarez responded to the Illinois State Police Headquarters in Collinsville, where he was processed and issued a summons to appear in St. Clair County Court on May 21.

Illinois State Police Capt. Jim Morrisey signed the charges as the complainant.

Rands said the charges stem from the Feb. 19 board meeting but beyond that, he declined to comment on the case.

During the Feb. 19 meeting, Alvarez was captured on video in an irate manner approaching the trustee bench and accusing Black of being influenced by metro-east radio talk show host Bob Romanik. Specifically, Alvarez told Black that Romanik, a convicted felon, was trying to run the police department and he was running the village, too. Black denied the accusations. Caseyville Sgt. Frank Moore walked to the front where Alvarez was and was trying to get Alvarez to return to his seat. Alvarez refused to go to his seat and it appeared he bumped Moore.

Alvarez was hired in September. When Black fired Alvarez on Feb. 12, Black said he wanted to go in a different direction with the administration of the police department. At least two other times, Alvarez's job has been on the line. And each time, he has been allowed to stay.

Before taking the Caseyville job, Alvarez was deputy chief of investigations with the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office. Alvarez is paid $70,000 a year to be the Caseyville chief.

Alvarez replaced former Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth, who took his own life June 13 at his home in Fairview Heights after being suspended and facing criminal charges in relation to misappropriation of village property.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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