A recently filed lawsuit accuses a Mascoutah police officer of threatening to make a man "disappear" if he reported the officer to the department.
The St. Clair County lawsuit alleges that Lt. Kevin McGinnis told Tyler McGowan that he was in the CIA and would "make him disappear if (McGowan) tells anyone of (McGinnis') official misconduct or other inappropriate or unprofessional conduct."
The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, argues McGinnis was in uniform when he told McGowan that he had a federal drug case against him and that the officer was going to report him to the Veteran's Administration. There was no documented drug charge against McGowan as of Thursday.
The officer then followed McGowan while on duty and harassed him, according to the lawsuit complaint.
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Neither McGinnis nor McGowan's attorney, Jarrod Beasley, responded for comment.
Mascoutah Police Chief Scott Waldrup called the lawsuit frivolous and said he looked into the allegations when McGowan complained to the department and did not find any merit. Waldrup declined further comment but said McGinnis was not placed on leave regarding the matter.
McGowan's lawsuit alleged Waldrup's investigation was inadequate and that McGinnis had threatened the man's life and threatened to disrupt the disability benefits he receives as a disabled veteran. The lawsuit argues McGowan suffered "injury, including anxiety, PTSD and fear for his life."
In 2005, McGinnis was suspended for a pay period for an unnamed "immoral" action that reflected poorly on the police department. He attempted to cover up the event, which was "more grievous" than the actual action, said then-City Manager Terry Draper in a disciplinary letter.
McGinnis was passed over for the next available sergeant's promotion, according to the disciplinary letter from 2005.
Waldrup would not comment on what this action was, saying it was before his time as chief.
McGinnis was written up in 2017 for deleting a police report after he thought a credit card had been fraudulently opened in his name after receiving a bill with an outstanding balance. The letter of reprimand says McGinnis had another officer, Detective Nate Weinel, generate a case number for a police report for fraudulent activity that McGinnis later realized hadn't happened.
When McGinnis realized that he had, in fact, opened the card himself and it wasn't fraud, he deleted the police report, which violates department policy.
Waldrup's letter said McGinnis had acted unethically. The officer was not punished, just issued a formal reprimand.