St. Clair County deputy circuit clerk Rowena Butenhoff faces three criminal felony counts after allegedly wiping out warrants for a driver who has amassed more than 100 traffic tickets over the last decade and a half.
Robert Loeffler, apparent beneficiary of her action, has racked up 30 convictions since 1997, five of which were misdemeanor convictions.
Associate Judge Brian Babka issued a warrant against him on a misdemeanor charge of resisting police on Aug. 11, and Associate Judge Chris Kolker issued two on traffic tickets the next day.
O’Fallon police stopped him on Aug. 26, and issued tickets for running a stop sign, wearing no seat belt, and driving on a suspended license.
They added a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.
Three of the four charges matched the ones in the warrants that Babka and Kolker signed, and the double dose of charges that he resisted police spelled trouble.
On Aug. 29, Butenhoff allegedly quashed the warrants that Babka and Kolker signed.
On Sept. 5, State's Attorney Brendan Kelly charged her with official misconduct for personal advantage and official misconduct in performing an action she knew was forbidden by law.
He also charged that she tampered with public records, a charge any citizen can face.
As of Sept. 9, the website of Circuit Clerk Kahala Clay still showed the warrants were withdrawn, and it showed that hearings in those cases were scheduled in error.
Loeffler once collected 16 traffic tickets in a year, in the course of seven stops.
Misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol remain pending from 2009 and 2012.
He pleaded guilty in the first case in 2010. Associate Judge Laninya Cason withheld judgment and referred him to treatment.
The docket shows that after pleading guilty, he allegedly violated supervision, committed contempt, and failed to prove he finished treatment.
Five judges have continued the proceedings without acting on the charges.
Proceedings still haven’t begun on Loeffler’s more recent alcohol case. Four judges have continued it 12 times.
Kolker continued both alcohol cases in July, and set them for a hearing on Dec. 11.
Tom Daley represents Loeffler in the first alcohol case, and Cory Easton represents him in the second case.
Dockets show no lawyer for Loeffler on the charges of resisting arrest, the two tickets that led Kolker to issue warrants in August, or the four tickets he collected on Aug. 26.