Fiss charged with illegal transportation of alcohol

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 8, 2007, 5:14am


St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jan Fiss has been charged with illegal transportation of alcohol, according to a press release issued by acting Chief Judge John Baricevic this morning.

Baricevic said special prosecutor Randy Patchett charged Fiss for his involvement in the Dec. 3 DUI arrest of St. Clair Circuit Judge Patrick Young, but a judge from a different county will be appointed to handle the case.

The day before he was to be sworn in as newly elected circuit judge, Young, 58, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield by a Belleville Police Department patrolman.

Fiss, 64, who was a passenger in Young's vehicle, was seen pouring out a can of beer at the scene.

He was sworn into office for another six-year term on Dec. 4, having been retained in the November election.

Young and Fiss were returning from the St. Louis Rams football game when the accident happened at 5:05 p.m., according to the police report.

Young was driving a 2005 GMC Yukon.

According to the police report, Young -- northbound on Frank Scott Parkway in Belleville -- turned left onto Dutch Hollow Road in front of a southbound vehicle driven by Abel Muhammed, 40, of Swansea.

Muhammed, who had to be extricated from his 2006 Toyota Tundra, was treated and released from Memorial Hospital's emergency room.

According to the police report, Muhammed suffered facial lacerations and complained of a broken leg.

According to the police report, Young was "unstable in his stance, swaying forward and backwards...when the suspect walked to the rear of the vehicle I noted he was staggering side to side in an unbalanced motion," Patrolman Shane Brown wrote in a report.

Patrolman Jeffrey Sheary, who assisted Brown, stated in a supplemental report that Fiss tried to hide the beer can.

"After pouring out the beer, Fiss made several attempts to conceal the can in an inside pocket on the front of his coat before finally sweeping," Sheary wrote.

Brown asked Fiss what he did with the beer can.

"Witness #2 (Fiss) stated, 'I was told to get rid of it'," Brown wrote. "I asked witness #2 who told him to get rid of the beer can and he refused to answer my question. I then asked him where he disposed of it and he stated, 'along the road.'"

Ann Knef contributed to this report.

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