Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Mar. 19, 2015, 7:45am

A Wood River police officer accused of sending inappropriate text messages to women he arrested has removed the case to federal court.

Officer Jeremy Elliott filed the notice of removal to federal court in East St. Louis on Dec. 26 through attorney Peter R. Jennetten of Quinn Johnston Henderson Pretorius & Cerulo.

Jennifer Scholbe claims Elliott obtained her cell phone number when he arrested her. Then on Aug. 15, he began sending her text messages through his cell phone issued to him by the City of Wood River, the Dec. 1 complaint alleges.

In the text messages, Elliott allegedly offered to have the criminal charges against Scholbe dropped in exchange for sexual favors, requested her to perform oral sex and requested a photo of her genitals, the suit states.

Elliott was later arrested and charged with official misconduct for the text messages.

“Defendant Elliott knew or should have known that the messages to plaintiff would cause her emotional distress,” the suit states.

Wood River is also accused of failing to monitor Elliott’s use of police-issued equipment, failing to supervise Elliott while on duty and failing to properly train Elliott regarding the use of personal information, according to the complaint.

Scholbe seeks a judgment or more than $150,000, plus costs, attorney fees and interest.

A similar suit against Elliott was settled in January. In that case, plaintiff Traci Quigley claimed the officer also used her personal information to send her inappropriate sexual suggestions as well as driving by her home and parking nearby.

Janet L. Freeman and Edward W. Unsell of East Alton represent Scholbe.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-1636

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