Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Aug. 30, 2013, 6:39am

The Village of Caseyville denies allegations brought by a police officer who claims he was harassed and threatened by its former police chief J.D. Roth.

The village's answer was filed on Aug. 2 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court.

On July 25, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien scheduled a status conference in a case brought by Jeff Wilkinson for Sept. 17 at 9:30 a.m.

Wilkinson filed suit June 24 claiming he was an officer in good standing when he and several others signed a letter entitled, “Ongoing Problems with Chief Roth,” and sent it to Caseyville Mayor George Chance and members of the police committee on the city’s board of trustees in April 2012. The letter addressed alleged misconduct and malfeasance within the Caseyville Police Department.

According to the complaint, Wilkinson says he was harassed, intimidated and threatened with demotion by Roth after he sent the letter and filed the complaint. He claims the city knew about the chief’s harassing and threatening actions but did nothing to stop the problem.

In his suit, Wilkinson accuses the Village of Caseyville of violating Illinois’ Whistleblower Act for failing to protect him from retaliation.

Roth died on June 13 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was facing charges of official misconduct brought by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney.

Wilkinson is represented by John J. Hopkins of Alton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case number 13-L-313

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