Crime

Former U.S. attorney Wigginton pleads guilty to DUI, pays fine

Former federal prosecutor crash scene, sobriety test

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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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

The former U.S. attorney for Southern Illinois has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Steve Wigginton, who resigned as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois in 2015, was stopped by a Troy police officer the night of May 23 after apparently running his car off the road, crashing into a fence and then getting back on the road. The officer observed Wigginton’s heavily-damaged Cadillac passing an unrelated accident and stopped him.

According to police reports, Wigginton admitted to having a glass of vodka while at dinner with clients. When his car ran off the exit ramp of Interstate 55/70 near U.S. 40, it traveled about 100 yards into the grass, crashed through a fence, drove from the ditch and back onto U.S. 40.

Wigginton, 54, of Troy, told police he had called for help, but no one came, so he left. After he was stopped, he failed to complete field sobriety tests and declined a breath-alcohol test, which meant his license was automatically suspended. He was charged with driving under the influence, faulty headlight, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and leaving the scene of an accident.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons had asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor to Wigginton’s case, as Wigginton formerly worked as an assistant state’s attorney in Madison County before becoming U.S. attorney. The prosecutor, appellate prosecutor David Rands, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Wigginton pleaded guilty July 11 to driving under the influence of alcohol, a class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced to court supervision and a fine of $1,500. The other charges were dismissed as part of the plea.

Wigginton could not immediately be reached for comment.

Wigginton has since paid his fine and all court fees as of this week. His driver’s license has been restored due to “improper notice,” according to court records.

As U.S. attorney, Wigginton prosecuted a former St. Clair County judge for heroin possession and a former Madison County treasurer for rigging auctions of delinquent property taxes in favor of campaign contributors. After leaving public service, Wigginton became a partner at St. Louis law firm Armstrong Teasdale.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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