Metro-East News

Prosecutor asked to recuse himself in case over alleged Prenzler assault

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons News-Democrat file photo

The man accused of assaulting the Madison County Board chairman at a church fundraiser last year is asking for a special prosecutor to handle the case because he says State's Attorney Tom Gibbons is biased.

"That the circumstances are such that the State's Attorney's Office is perceived to be biased in some form or fashion either for or against the complaining witness (Prenzler)," the motion written by Jim Gomric, Matt Foley's defense attorney.

"That this Court must disqualify the Madison County State's Attorney and direct the appointment of a special prosecutor by way of the appropriate statutory mechanism."

Repeated efforts this week to reach Gibbons for comment were unsuccessful. The motion was filed in Foley's case Monday.

Neither Prenzler nor Gomric wanted to comment on the motion

On March 11, 2017, Prenzler went to Madison police and reported that he was pushed and shoved by two men, then physically dragged over to a third man as all three verbally threatened him.

The incident took place at the annual Pig and Lamb event at St. Mary's Church in Madison. Several hundred people attended the event.

Foley, 37, of Edwardsville, was later charged with one count each of threatening a public official, battery, and aggravated battery.

Though Gomric's motion makes no note of it, Gibbons formed a task force to raid several offices, including that of County Board Administrator Doug Hulme and Public Relations Director Cynthia Ellis, in January.

At the time, Prenzler said he wasn't aware of the nature of the investigation. Prenzler said he returned to his office and found police tape on Hulme's office. Prenzler had said at the time that police gave him a receipt for more than 30 items they seized which "generally appear to be computers and records."

Gibbons has not commented on the search warrants. To date, no charges have been issued as a result of the raid.

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570