Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Former U.S. Attorney Wigginton no longer at Armstrong Teasdale

By Record News | Nov 29, 2017

ST. LOUIS – Stephen Wigginton, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, no longer works for the Armstrong Teasdale firm, a spokesperson for the firm said on Tuesday.

Wigginton joined Armstrong Teasdale in 2015, after five years in the U.S. attorney’s post. He was nominated by President Obama.

His departure comes approximately six months after he was arrested by a Troy police officer for driving under the influence of alcohol.

On May 23, at around 10 p.m., he drove his car off the Highway 40 ramp from Interstate 55-70, and flattened a fence.

He initially entered a not guilty plea on June 2, and then on July 11 changed his plea to guilty of driving under the influence.

At Armstrong Teasdale, Wigginton’s transition to the private sector included representing a class of clients suing Chrysler over the alleged hacking of the “uConnect” information and entertainment system.

Earlier this year in a California court, Wigginton exposed trade secrets that he had obtained through discovery in the uConnect suit at federal court in East St. Louis.

In April, Chrysler moved for sanctions in the form of legal fees it incurred for restoring confidentiality.

Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson, at federal court in East St. Louis, granted the motion, and Chrysler reported fees of $16,337.50.

Lead plaintiff for the class - Brian Flynn, who also serves as Belleville’s city attorney - successfully appealed the order to District Judge Michael Reagan.

On Nov. 15, Reagan ruled that a magistrate may recommend monetary sanctions but can’t grant them.

Reagan wrote that if Chrysler would like to persist in this vein, its lawyers should file the motion again. 

Attorneys Christopher Baucom and Lucas Pendry, both of Armstrong Teasdale, continue representing Flynn.

Among the high profile public official cases Wigginton pursued as U.S. Attorney were the prosecutions of former Madison County treasurer Fred Bathon involving a tax sales bid-rigging scheme and former St. Clair County circuit judge Michael Cook, involving his illegal drug use and those who supplied him.

Elected as Democrats, Bathon and Cook were aligned politically with Wigginton. 

An 18-month sentence Wigginton recommended for Cook was rejected as too weak by the judge presiding over the case, who instead imposed a 24-month sentence.

In Bathon's case, post-conviction, Wigginton filed a motion under seal that cut his 30-month sentence to 18 months. The motion filed on Nov. 19, 2014, remains under seal. 

Want to get notified whenever we write about Madison County ?

Sign-up Next time we write about Madison County, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

Madison County