Editorials

Planning to drive drunk? Former top prosecutor offers lessons

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

Bad decisions tend to cascade: You drink too much, you don’t call a taxi, you drive away from the tangled highway fence after seriously damaging your Cadillac, you lie to the cop, you try to throw around your weight.

Could happen to anyone. Maybe.

Shouldn’t happen to this guy.

Five years as Southern Illinois’ top federal prosecutor and decades as a local prosecutor mean Stephen Wigginton should not only know better, but know best. He’s been with the victims, he’s heard all the excuses and he’s seen folks trying to get a pass because of who they are.

Wigginton on May 23 ran through a highway fence that left his Cadillac looking like it had been in a demolition derby after cutting the lawn. He drove off. He reeked of alcohol, yet several times on video told Troy Police Officer Bryan Brown he hadn’t been drinking.

The simple act of being asked for his drivers’ license went like this, according to the police report.

“You know who I am,” Wigginton said.

Brown said he didn’t.

“Your boss does,” Wigginton said.

Brown, the “little guy” on the front lines, played it straight and maintained his composure. Wigginton, the former “big dog” of our region’s law enforcement, not so much.

Officer Brown deserves the community’s thanks.

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