Metro-East News

Ex-wife called police to report former U.S. prosecutor driving drunk on NYE, report says

Steve Wigginton faces second DUI charge

Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steve Wigginton was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence on Dec. 31 in Edwardsville. It is his second DUI charge in two years.
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Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steve Wigginton was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence on Dec. 31 in Edwardsville. It is his second DUI charge in two years.

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton hit another car and attempted to get a hamburger the night he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence last month.

Around 9 p.m. on New Years Eve, Wigginton’s ex-wife called police to tell them he was highly intoxicated and that he’d struck her friend’s car with his silver Jeep earlier, stated an Edwardsville Police Department report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

An officer located Wigginton’s car in the parking lot of a Sonic restaurant near the intersection of Plummer Drive and Commerce Drive, the arrest report stated. The officer pulled the Jeep over as it left the parking lot.

When the officer knocked on Wigginton’s drivers’ side window, the officer reported Wigginton attempted to open his door rather than roll down his window. When Wigginton did roll down his window, the officer asked if he’d been drinking. Wigginton responded no and said he had taken some prescription medications that morning.

Wigginton struggled to get his driver’s license and insurance card out of his wallet, the police officer wrote in the report, and spoke with a mumbled, slow and deliberate manner “as if struggling to organize his thoughts.” A second officer said he observed the smell of alcohol on Wigginton’s breath.

In the report, both officers wrote that Wigginton was not able to keep a consistent story in their conversation with him. Wigginton told the officers he was staying at the Holiday Inn in one instance, but had said he was staying at the Country Hearth Inn before that.

The officers said he changed the subject when they confronted him about the inconsistencies.

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Steve Wigginton Edwardsville Police Department

According to the report, the officers asked Wigginton if he’d been in a collision. Wigginton told them he’d been in a minor fender bender earlier, “down the street” at Wang Gang, a local Asian restaurant. He told the officers he went to Sonic because he “had to get a hamburger,” but that the fast food restaurant was closed.

After failing a field sobriety test and refusing to take a breathalyzer test, the report stated officers arrested Wigginton and issued him citations for driving under the influence and improper traffic lane usage.

Wigginton is set to appear in court on Feb. 6. His case will be handled by a special prosecutor, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons previously told the BND.

This is Wigginton’s second DUI charge in two years. He pleaded guilty to a May 2017 incident where his car crashed through a fence off Interstate 55/70.

Before being appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois by U.S. President Barack Obama, Wigginton obtained a $5 million verdict against the Belleville Diocese in a civil case alleging sexual abuse of an altar boy by former priest the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

While U.S. Attorney, Wigginton prosecuted former St. Clair County Judge Mike Cook, who faced charges for heroin possession, and former Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon, who was convicted of rigging the auctions of delinquent property taxpayers in order to favor bidders who contributed to his campaign fund.

Wigginton resigned as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois in November 2015.

Troy, IL, Police released evidence photos and police car dash cam video of a crash and field sobriety test of Stephen Wigginton, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Wiggington told officers he was not drinking. The offi

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Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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